7 Sudden COVID Symptoms That Can Strike Anytime

Alek Korab
·4 min read

As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rise, you might be asking yourself, will it happen to me? The terrifying answer is, maybe. The unpredictability of COVID-19 can be frightening. Some people have zero symptoms. Others—even once-healthy people—are debilitated nearly a year later, felled by Post-COVID Syndrome. Although every case is different, there are some sudden symptoms to be aware of, so you can sound the alarm and seek help when the time is right. Read on to discover seven sudden COVID symptoms that can strike anytime, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

1

Sudden Hearing Loss

Woman taking off mask with ear gesture annoyed by mask in coronavirus pandemic
Woman taking off mask with ear gesture annoyed by mask in coronavirus pandemic

There have been cases of sudden hearing loss in people with COVID. "A 45-year-old patient with asthma presented to our otolaryngology department following a week of hearing loss while in hospital for the treatment of COVID-19," said one study in BMJ Journals. "He noticed left-sided tinnitus and sudden onset hearing loss. He had no previous history of hearing loss or ear pathology." In a June 2020 report, several Iranian patients also reported hearing loss and vertigo.

2

Sudden Cardiac Event

man having heart attack
man having heart attack

"COVID-19 can cause cardiovascular disorders, including myocardial injury, arrhythmias, acute coronary syndrome and venous thromboembolism," reports a study in Nature Reviews Cardiology. These heart issues can be sudden and are often related to blood clots, which you'll hear more about in a second.

3

Sudden Stroke

man hold his had and suffering from headache, pain, migraine
man hold his had and suffering from headache, pain, migraine

The scary part about strokes and coronavirus is that the strokes can happen fast—and they are happening to anyone, even younger people. One "man was among several recent stroke patients in their 30s to 40s who were all infected with the coronavirus. The median age for that type of severe stroke is 74," reports the Washington Post. "A stroke, which is a sudden interruption of the blood supply, is a complex problem with numerous causes and presentations. It can be caused by heart problems, clogged arteries due to cholesterol, even substance abuse."

4

Sudden Blood Clots

blood clot
blood clot

Blood clots can lead to strokes and cardiac events, and, in some cases, you'd be dead before you know why. Alarmingly, they are being seen in people who were quite healthy before COVID-19, like Cody Garbrandt, the 29-year-old UFC fighter. He caught COVID in August and "since then I have been battling vertigo, tore my vein in my bicep which resulted in finding out I have blood clots, pneumonia, and mental fog, these are the symptoms I've had and been dealing with and this is the reason" he pulled out of a scheduled fight.

5

Sudden Fever

Lady Holding Thermometer Having Fever Measuring Body Temperature Sitting On Sofa At Home
Lady Holding Thermometer Having Fever Measuring Body Temperature Sitting On Sofa At Home

It's possible to have mild COVID-19 symptoms that worsen rapidly. Of these, a fever is the most common. "87.9% of people with positive laboratory COVID tests report having a fever," says Dr. Deborah Lee. "Normal body temperature is 98.6°F. Your temperature is considered raised if it is above that. In a COVID infection, the fever is usually 100°C or above." As to why this is so common? "Fever occurs because your body recognizes there is a foreign organism on board. The temperature rises because your body is making the environment hostile to the virus so it cannot survive and multiply."

RELATED: COVID Symptoms Usually Appear in This Order, Study Finds

6

New and Sudden Loss of Smell

Portrait of young woman smelling a fresh and sweet nectarine
Portrait of young woman smelling a fresh and sweet nectarine

Anosmia—a new and sudden loss of smell—can be a telltale sign of COVID-19 because it's so tied to viruses. "With swelling and inflammation from a viral infection, particles of air that carry smell can't get to the top of the inner nose," says Dr. Sreekrishna K. Donepudi, an otolaryngologist with Memorial Hermann Medical Group Sugar Land Multi-Specialty. "That's where the olfactory nerve lives. Sometimes, the virus attacks the nerve, causing permanent damage and a permanent loss of smell." This can last for days, weeks or—for some—many months.

7

New and Sudden Loss of Taste

girl with a spoon near a mouth
girl with a spoon near a mouth

Since taste and smell are interlinked, it makes sense that you might lose your availability to taste, too. "In some cases, this is permanent, but in other cases, the neurons can regenerate. That's likely what determines which patients recover. In COVID-19, we believe smell loss is so prevalent because the receptors for COVID-19 that are expressed in human tissue are most commonly expressed in the nasal cavity and in the supporting cells of the olfactory tissue. These supporting cells surround the smell neurons and allow them to survive," reports Vanderbilt University Medical Center. If you experience this or any of the symptoms mentioned here, contact a medical professional, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.