16.08.2022

Covid may be linked to more symptoms than previously thought

The data was collected between June 2020 and January 2021 and used questionnaires and swab tests to gather information on symptoms of people infected with the disease. It is, however, yet to be peer-reviewed.

Headaches, a loss of appetite, chills, muscle aches could be previously overlooked symptoms of coronavirus, according to a new study.

About 60 per cent of people found by the study to have coronavirus did not report any symptoms, including new the established indicators of persistent cough, loss of smell and taste, and fever.

Age was also found to be a factor in what symptoms people experienced. Having a case of the chills was linked with testing positive for people of all age groups.

Meanwhile, headaches were reported in children and teenagers aged five to 17 and loss of appetite seemed to be more common in 18 to 55-year-olds compared to those who are tolder.

People aged 18 to 55 were the most likely to report aching muscles, while five- to 17-year-olds were the least likely group to report a cough, a fever or appetite loss.

Currently, only those with the officially established symptoms, or those living in areas where surge testing is taking place, are being encouraged to get tested.

Estimates by researchers suggest even if everyone with the classic set of symptoms were to be tested it would only pick up about half of symptomatic infections.

However, should these additional symptoms be included that figure could increase to up to 75 per cent.

Director of the REACT programme at Imperial, Professor Paul Elliott, said: “These new findings suggest many people with Covid-19 won’t be getting tested – and therefore won’t be self-isolating – because their symptoms don’t match those used in current public health guidance to help identify infected people.”

He added: “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.”

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