With ‘Covid passports’ a hot topic right now, many people are wondering if they’ve had coronavirus before without knowing.

Typically many people who’ve had covid show no symptoms at all but still carry the virus, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Some people who had no symptoms when they initially caught covid are also reporting having ‘long covid’ symptoms months later.

According to new UK figures, almost one in seven people who test positive for Covid-19 are still suffering symptoms three months later.

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Coronavirus vaccines are underway, but many are still waiting for the date
Coronavirus vaccines are underway, but many are still waiting for the date
(Image: Getty Images)

The largest study of its kind on long Covid from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), found people with coronavirus are significantly more likely than the general population to report ongoing issues, which can include muscle pain and fatigue.

Among a sample of more than 20,000 people who tested positive for Covid-19 between April last year and March this year, 13.7% continued to experience symptoms for at least 12 weeks.

This was eight times higher than in a control group of people who are unlikely to have had Covid-19, the ONS said.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he is “very worried” about the impact of long covid and that the Government is investing more in tackling and understanding the condition.


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He told Sky News : “We can see the impact in these new statistics shown today and I understand the impact it has had on hundreds of thousands of people.”

He added: “It’s one of the many damaging problems of this virus. We’re putting more research money into tackling and understanding long covid because it appears to be several different syndromes.”

The only real way to be sure if you have already had coronavirus would be to be tested.

Here are the eight symptoms that may suggest you have already been infected

Eye infections

New research has indicated that an eye infection such as conjunctivitis may be a symptom of Covid-19.

The College of Optometrists said: “It is recognised that any upper respiratory tract infection may result in viral conjunctivitis as a secondary complication, and this is also the case with Covid-19.

“However, it is unlikely that a person would present with viral conjunctivitis secondary to Covid-19 without other symptoms of fever or a continuous cough as conjunctivitis seems to be a late feature where is has occurred.”

A dry cough

A Covid cough can sound different to a typical cough
A Covid cough can sound different to a typical cough
(Image: Getty Images)

Perhaps the most recognisable of the Covid-19 symptoms, given how different it can sound compared to a typical cough.

The cough is generally new for you – or different if you generally have a smoker’s cough – and persistent.

More often than not it will last for at least half a day.

Mental fatigue / brain fog

Brain fog has plagued those who say they suffer with long covid sufferers, with people detailing accounts of experiencing it for months after having the virus.

A high temperature

Although numbers vary for different people, a rise in body temperature generally counts as a fever once it reaches 37.7C (100F).

You can tell you have a fever if you feel hot to the touch on your chest or back.

It’s difficult to catch your breath

If your chest starts to feel tight or you cannot breath, you may have caught the coronavirus.

Most young people or those without pre-existing health conditions are unlikely to experience this symptom.

Dyspnea – the term for when someone has difficulty breathing – may be coupled with a tightness in the chest, rapid breathing and heart palpitations.

Loss of sense of smell and taste

The British Association of Otorhinolaryngology warned that losing your sense of smell and taste may mean you have Covid-19.

The ear, nose and throat specialist recommended anyone with such symptoms self-isolate immediately.

It has been suggested that the phenomena may be caused by the coronavirus killing cells in the nose and throat.

Many people have reported not getting their smell or taste back weeks after having the virus.

Stomach ache

Stomach ache could be a sign of Covid
Stomach ache could be a sign of Covid
(Image: Getty Images)

As with a loss of appetite, enduring a tummy ache may easily be passed off as a sign of something more innocuous.

However, a study by the American Journal of Gastroenterology links tummy problems to Covid-19.

They found that 48.5% of 204 people who have been infected by the coronavirus in China’s Hubei province had digestive symptoms such as diarrhoea.


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Physical fatigue

Another common symptom of Covid-19, as well as cold, flu and many viruses in general, is feeling tired or fatigued.

Being told to rest is common when you’re ill, but feeling tired and not being able to sleep due to coughs and difficulty breathing, can make things all the more difficult.

Jaimuay Sae-ung, 73, was the first Thai national to contract coronavirus in December last year.

Despite having underlying health conditions, including a heart problem, Jaimuay survived the illness after doctors isolated her at a hospital in Thailand for treatment.

The mother of seven told Sky News: “I only knew (I had coronavirus) after I came to the hospital”.

“I felt a bit sad, a bit shocked, tired and fatigued and I couldn’t eat.”

It is important to note that you may have had one or several of these symptoms but have not had Covid-19.

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