Headache, fatigue, loss of smell, fever and a persistent cough are the five most common symptoms of Covid-19 being reported to the UK’s Covid Symptom Study app right now.
Lead researcher Professor Tim Spector, from King’s College London, tells HuffPost UK these symptoms haven’t significantly changed since the start of the pandemic.
The most common symptoms of Covid vary slightly in children and the over-70s, he adds. The top five symptoms in school aged children who test positive are: fatigue, headache, fever, sore throat and loss of appetite.
The app also found that one in six (15%) children who test positive present with an unusual skin rash.
Data on symptoms in the over-70s should be available in the next few days.
The NHS acknowledges three key symptoms of Covid-19 that warrant a test: fever, continuous cough, and loss, or change to, a person’s taste or sense of smell.
This is reinforced by a study of nearly 25,000 cases, which found a persistent cough and fever were the most common symptoms associated with Covid-19, followed by fatigue, losing the ability to smell and difficulty breathing.
As cases rise in the UK, Prof Spector is urging people to sign up to report their daily symptoms in the app, which he says “has become an essential tool in the fight against Covid-19 in the UK”.
The app estimates that 119,235 people in the UK have symptomatic Covid. Millions of people are logging how they feel (even if they’re feeling well) every day. This, says Prof Spector, is helping the app’s team detect hotspots earlier than other sources.
While the UK’s chief medical and scientific officers suggested at the start of the week the UK is facing 6,000 new infections a day, the Covid symptom study suggests this is more like 12,700 per day.
“Our work with King’s College London has...