11 Early Warning Signs You May Have Already Had Covid-19 Without You Realizing

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You were really sick in February

If you were sick before January, it likely wasn’t Covid-19, says Adam Spivak, MD, an infectious disease doctor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. “Covid-19 was likely here earlier than we thought it was,” he says. “If you were sick from mid-January to mid-February, it’s possible you had Covid-19. This timeframe is key.” Widespread testing wasn’t readily available during this time so you likely wouldn’t have known.

Your fever and cough weren’t the flu

You were so sick. You had a fever for days, a hacking cough, and were exhausted, but your flu test was negative. It could have been Covid-19, Dr. Spivak says, noting that flu season and the Covid-19 pandemic overlapped. “If you weren’t tested at the time or you were negative for other tests such as the flu that were available, it could have been Covid-19,” he says. “There is so much overlap with colds or flu and coronavirus symptoms, which is why testing for Covid-19 has been so emphasized.”

You suddenly lost your sense of smell or taste

This seems to be a hallmark of Covid-19 infection, but it’s not a slam dunk by any stretch, says Benjamin Singer, MD, an assistant professor in pulmonary and critical care at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. As many as 64.4 percent of people with Covid-19 report a loss of smell or taste, according to an April 2020 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The CDC recently added loss of taste and smell to the list of possible Covid-19 symptoms. “Reported loss of smell and taste appear more commonly with Covid-19 than other respiratory viruses, but other viruses and non-infectious entities like allergies can cause these same symptoms,” says Dr. Singer.

Your loved ones were infected

Many people who are infected with this virus have mild or no symptoms, says Dr. Singer. This means you could have had coronavirus and not had a clue.”If you were around people with confirmed cases, you likely have been exposed and may have been one of the people who don’t develop any noticeable symptoms.” This may also be true for people who work in the healthcare system and treated people for Covid-19.

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