The full list of Covid symptoms – and which variant you might have caught

CASES of Covid-19 are still spreading across the UK and it's more important than ever that you know the key symptoms.

But with new variants spreading across the country and a third of patients being asymptomatic, it's sometimes hard to know if your symptoms are Covid-related.

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The NHS states that the three main symptoms of Covid-19 are a new persistent cough, a high temperature or a loss of taste and smell (anosmia).

If you have any of these symptoms it's important that you get a test and isolate as soon as possible.

The virus is continuously evolving and at the start of the pandemic Brits were told to look out for a new persistent cough. This is defined as coughing a lot for more than an hour or three or more coughing episodes in a day.

If you usually have a cough then it will be much worse that your usual cough and it's likely to be more frequent.

People were also told to watch out for a high temperature.

This means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back and the NHS states that you don't need to measure your temperature with a thermometer in order to check it.

If you do measure your temperature – a high reading would be classed as anything above 38C.

A high temperature is usually caused by your body fighting infection.

As the virus evolved and infections continued to spread, Public Health England (PHE) added anosmia to the official list of Covid-19 symptoms in May 2020.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also states that the below symptoms are all less common signs that people who contract Covid could suffer from:

  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Tiredness

MUTANT VIRUS

The virus has been circulating in the UK for a year and experts believe new variants are driving the latest surge in cases.

The mutations are understood to be more contagious – and more deadly – than the original strain which first emerged last year.

There are currently three strains health officials are concerned about and these are the Kent strain, the South African strain and the Brazilian strain.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last week revealed that people who caught the Kent variant would have different symptoms to the original strain of the virus.

The report stated that people suffering with the Kent mutation are more likely to get a cough, sore throat, tiredness and muscle pain.

The largest change in symptoms between the two strains is people are much less likely to report high temperatures.

The study found no real difference in reports of shortness of breath or headaches from patients with either the novel strain or the mutation.

Writing in the report the ONS said: "People testing positive compatible with the new UK variant were more likely to report any symptoms and the classic symptoms, but were less likely to report loss of taste and smell.

"There was no evidence of difference in the percentages reporting gastrointestinal symptoms."

Despite the release from the ONS, data from the Zoe Symptom Tracker App today revealed that there was "no evidence in a change in symptoms" for people who had caught the new variant.

The study confirmed that the Kent variant is more transmissible and looked at how many people reported experiencing any of the fourteen symptoms that the ZOE team has identified as being linked to Covid-19.

These are severe fatigue, headache, loss of smell (anosmia), persistent cough, fever, abdominal pain, chest pain, sore throat, severe shortness of breath, skipping meals, unusual muscle pains, hoarse voice, sudden confusion (delirium) and diarrhoea.

 

The ZOE experts also previously warned that the symptoms experienced by children could be different to those seen in adults.

The experts say that the key five symptoms in kids are headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, fever and a sore throat.

Dr Claire Steves from King’s College London said: “The Kent variant B.1.1.7 does not appear to alter symptoms, severity or duration of Covid-19 when we take account of the changing seasons and age of people affected.

"It’s important to emphasise the range of symptoms both the new and the old variant can cause, such as headaches and sore throat, in addition to the classic triad of cough, fever and loss of smell.”

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