Headaches, sore throats and runny nose are now the most commonly reported Covid symptoms, scientists say.
NHS bosses recognize only three telltale signs of the virus – a temperature, new continuous cough and loss of taste and smell.
But scientists at King’s College London, who are leading a coronavirus surveillance project, say the disease is “acting differently now.”
Headaches are now the most commonly reported symptom of Covid, while a sore throat is the second most common complaint, but neither is on the official list of virus symptoms
Scientists believe the Indian Delta variant, which has been spreading rapidly since early May, may be behind the change in symptoms.
It may also be due to the fact that younger people become infected and are more likely to get only a mild illness.
Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, warned that the Indian variant is now ‘more like a cold’ in younger people
Lead researcher Professor Tim Spector said people should get tested if they think they have a cold to prevent the possible spread of Covid.
What are the symptoms of Covid?
The NHS has cited a high temperature along with a new and persistent cough as the main symptoms of the virus.
It then added a loss or change in smell or taste as a symptom of the virus, under pressure from Covid campaigners.
Most people who contract Covid and show symptoms have at least one of them, according to the NHS.
But other studies have claimed that loss of appetite, skin rashes, hives, muscle aches and diarrhea could all be symptoms of Covid.
The US recognizes 11 symptoms, including headaches and runny nose.
About a third of people with the virus are asymptomatic and can unknowingly pass it on to others.
The King’s team has been monitoring virus symptoms through an app called ZOE that launched last March. It is the country’s largest study of symptom tracking.
Data analyzed by the ZOE app showed that coughing was the most common symptom at the start of the pandemic, with 46 percent of infected patients having the tell-tale sign.
But it has now been overtaken by headaches, sore throat, runny nose and fever, Professor Spector claimed.
Fewer people report having lost their sense of taste or smallness, with anosmia no longer in the top 10 most common symptoms.
Professor Spector told the Telegraph: ‘People don’t realize this, and people may think they have some sort of seasonal cold and they still go to parties and maybe spread it.
‘We have been looking at the peak symptoms since the beginning of May and they are no longer as they were.
“Number one is headache followed by sore throat, runny nose and fever. None of those are the old classic symptoms, number five is coughing so it’s rarer and we don’t even see smell loss making it into the top 10.
“This variant seems to work slightly differently.”
In February, more than 140 GPs wrote to Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, urging the government to add more cold symptoms to the official list.
dr. Alex Sohal, a GP in Tower Hamlets, London, who was the lead author of the letter, said patients reported these mild symptoms and tested positive for Covid within a few days.
Previous research by the Office for National Statistics showed that fatigue was the most commonly reported symptom, followed by headaches and coughing.
Their data, collected through a survey of 10,000 people and released in April, revealed that about 53 percent of people who test positive for the virus have no symptoms.
Britain registered 7,393 Covid cases yesterday, a 40 percent increase from the week before.
Cases have been ticking upwards for several weeks because of the Indian variant, which has called into question “Friday Day” on June 21.
Despite the fact that the number of reported deaths and the number of patients admitted to hospital is still low, there is a lag between an increase in infections. The number of infected patients requiring medical treatment is slowly increasing.
Daily infection data in the UK shows 7,393 people tested positive for the virus, the highest number since February. But the number of deaths from the virus is currently low and the vaccine 28.2 million people have now had both doses of the vaccine