Headache in COVID-19 usually appears as an early symptom and is associated with a more benign disease course. Headache features were typical of an acute headache attributed to systemic viral infection.
Why this matters
Headache is an established symptom of COVID-19, reported in 13–74.6% of patients.
The neuroinvasive potential of SARS-CoV-2 is unclear. SARS-CoV-2 binds to ACE2 receptors which are not believed to be expressed in the central nervous system (CNS); however, key symptoms including headache, anosmia and ageusia, as well as the finding of SARS-CoV-2 in the cerebrospinal fluid in some patients, suggest the virus may nonetheless enter the CNS.
Many systemic viral infections are associated with headache, but it is possible that the headache seen in SARS-CoV-2 infection is distinct.