The very first strain of Covid has been overtaken by more contagious versions. As the virus evolves, it would make sense that its symptoms do too. Here are the latest warning signs of the disease to be aware of.
Data from millions of users have suggested fever is a warning sign of a Covid infection. This aligns with the “high temperature” symptom mentioned by the NHS, and is part of the classic triad of symptoms.
The Covid Symptom Study reported around four in 10 people who tested positive for the virus had a fever; this is regarded as having a temperature reading over 37.8C.
For the over 65s, or those who are very thin, “your body temperature is likely to be lower”, meaning that a reading over 37.4C should be considered a fever.
A persistent cough is part of the classic triad of symptoms highlighted by the NHS.
This is usually a dry cough, meaning no phlegm or mucus is brought up (unless you have an underlying lung condition).
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However, if you do have a persistent cough and it’s producing yellow or green gunk, it could be a sign of an additional bacterial infection in the lungs.
The researchers warned: “Coughing is a major way that coronavirus spreads. If you have a cough that could be COVID-19 you must get a test and self-isolate.”
Only around one in 10 people with Covid will have a persistent cough as their only symptom.
This is when there is a loss or change to your sense of smell; reports suggest you’re unlikely to be able to smell coffee, flowers or candles.
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“Anosmia is one of the commonest symptoms of COVID-19, affecting an average of 60 percent of adults aged 16-65 at some point in their illness,” said the researchers.
It’s also the “most predictive symptom of having a positive test for COVID-19”.
Although a headache is a less well known symptom of Covid, it’s reportedly more common than the classic three: cough, fever and loss of smell.
The researchers noted: “Although many people with COVID-19 experience headaches, most people with a headache will not have COVID-19.”
This is because headaches are extremely common, especially with people spending more time looking at screens.
What’s the difference between a normal headache and a Covid headache?
The researchers found that Covid headaches tend to be:
- Moderately to severely painful
- Have a ‘pulsing’, ‘pressing’ or ‘stabbing’ sensatoin]
- Occur across both sides of the head (bilateral) rather than in one area
- Last for more than three days
- Is resistant to regular painkillers
Around seven in 10 adults who are ill with COVID-19 will experience a Covid headache.
Other Covid symptoms include:
- Loss or change in taste (dysgeusia)
- Sore throat
- Sudden confusion (delirium), especially in older adults
- Skin rash
- Covid tongue
- Covid fingers/toes
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Muscle pains
- Hoarse voice
- Skipping meals
- Abdominal pain
- Runny nose
The researchers clarified: “These symptoms have been reported more often by people who have a positive test than those testing negative.
“Of course, having one or more of these symptoms does not mean it’s definitely due to COVID-19, as they can also occur with other illnesses.”
Right now, you’re only eligible for a free NHS test if you have one of the classic triad of symptoms:
- Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
However, data from the Covid Symptom Study shows that 31 percent of people who are ill with Covid don’t have any of these three signs in the early stages.
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