2 years ago

United Kingdom adds new nine signs of coronavirus infection

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The United Kingdom has expanded the official list of Covid-19 symptoms, including another nine signs of coronavirus infection.

The UK Health Security Agency's updated guidance now lists symptoms including a sore throat, muscle pains and diarrhoea, reports BBC.

The move comes more than two years into the pandemic, and just days after free testing ended in England.

However, the UK cautions that many of the new symptoms "are very similar" to those for colds and flu.

The original signs of a Covid-19 infection that were recognised in the UK were:

⦿ Fever

⦿ New continuous cough

⦿ Loss of sense of smell or taste

It was known from the early days of the pandemic that this trio was just the tip of the iceberg. The World Health Organization and other countries, including the US, have used a long list of symptoms for some time.

However, there has been debate in the UK about precisely which symptoms should be recognised and qualify somebody for a Covid test.

A headache is a known symptom of Covid, but you might not want to test everybody with one, as there are so many other causes.

Fever, cough or loss of sense of smell or taste were settled on because they were either present in most Covid cases or almost exclusively caused by the virus.

But now the list of symptoms includes a further nine:

⦿ Shortness of breath

⦿ Feeling tired or exhausted

⦿ Aching body

⦿ Headache

⦿ Sore throat

⦿ Blocked or runny nose

⦿ Loss of appetite

⦿ Diarrhoea

⦿ Feeling sick or being sick

Covid-19 infections are at a record level in the UK, with 4.9 million people (about one in 13 of us) testing positive for the virus. Free testing for most people in England ended last week.

The agency says people should stay at home and avoid others only if they have Covid symptoms and a high temperature, or if their symptoms are so bad that they are not well enough to work.

Prof Tim Spector, from King's College London, has been campaigning for an expanded list of symptoms because of data from people tracking their symptoms in the Zoe Covid-19 app.

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