The NHS – for all their amazing work – only recognise three main symptoms of coronavirus, but evidence points to much more. Mass testing is mostly prohibited when infected people don’t qualify for a Covid test. Many people may be walking around supermarkets unaware that they are carrying the notorious SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes the Covid disease. Imperial College London collected swab tests and questionnaires as part of their REACT study.
The samples and papers were collected between June 2020 to January 2021, with some alarming results.
It was revealed that four unofficially recognised symptoms (by the NHS) were strongly linked with a Covid infection.
These were: chills, loss of appetite, headache and muscle aches – alongside the classic symptoms.
The classic symptoms, recognised by the NHS, are:
- A new, continuous cough
- A high temperature
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
They were also more likely to report a fever, persistent cough, and appetite loss compared to adults.
People aged 55 or older also experienced appetite loss more so than younger adults.
Those older than 17, but younger than 54 – who tested positive for coronavirus – were more likely to report muscle aches.
However, around 60 percent of infected people didn’t report any symptoms in the week leading up to their Covid test.
Professor Paul Elliott commented on the REACT study: “These new findings suggest many people with COVID-19 won’t be getting tested.”
The director of the REACT programme continued: “Therefore [infected individuals] won’t be self-isolating, because their symptoms don’t match those used in current public health guidance.
“I hope that our findings on the most informative symptoms mean that the testing programme can take advantage of the most up-to-date evidence, helping to identify more infected people.”
Utilising the data, the researchers noted the Kent Covid variant was less likely to cause someone to lose their sense of smell.
Instead, the Kent variant was greatly associated with a new persistent cough.
Dr Joshua Elliott, from Imperial College London’s School of Public Health, said: “As the epidemic progresses and new variants emerge, it’s essential that we keep monitoring how the virus affects people so that testing programmes meet changing needs.
“We hope that our data will help inform testing guidance and the development of systems which could help better identify people who should take a COVID-19 test based on their symptoms.”
The REACT pre-print paper is yet to be submitted for peer-review.
Published at Fri, 12 Feb 2021 08:08:00 +0000