Official Covid symptoms must CHANGE as just one makes top five common signs, expert warns

THE official list of Covid symptoms has got to change, as only one makes the top five most common ones reported.

An expert called on the NHS to add to the list – still just three symptoms – after seeing Brits log more cold-like complaints when testing positive.

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Professor Tim Spector, behind the ZOE Covid Symptom Study app, said the top five symptoms are now a headache, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and a persistent cough.

He said: "We are seeing persistent cough is the only one of the Government classic symptoms that makes the top five.

"Now fever is now down at number seven and loss of smell number nine.

"We have to really re-evaluate what we think of as these classic symptoms of Covid."

He told Brits to get a test if they are unsure if they have a cold, hay fever or Covid.

"If you are feeling unwell, cold-like symptoms, there's no other reason, assume it is likely to be Covid, keep yourself away until those symptoms have gone and as a minimum take a lateral flow test and check in on the app and get a PCR test", he said.

It is likely because the Delta variant, dominant in the UK, causes different symptoms to the traditional Covid ones.

For over a year, people have been alert to a new cough, loss of smell and taste and a high temperature.


But this now appears to be outdated and it could be causing undiagnosed people to spread the virus further.

If you are under 40, the signs to look for now are a headache, sore throat and runny nose, according to data.

If you are over 40, the key signs are a headache, runny nose and sneezing.

A leading professor says the Delta variant, first identified in India, seems to “working slightly differently”.

However, it could also be because Covid is currently causing an epidemic in young people, and symptoms are known to vary by age group. 

The ZOE Covid Symptom Study has been tracking the Covid outbreak since March 2020, with millions of Brits reporting their symptoms on an app.

The NHS says you should get a free Covid test if you have at least one of the three main symptoms of cough, temperature and loss of taste/smell.


But doctors – including Prof Spector – have long called for the list to be expanded and therefore catch more infected people. 

Prof Spector said: “Covid is acting differently now it’s more like a cold in this younger population and people aren’t realising this, and people might think they’ve got some sort of seasonal cold and they still go out to parties and they might spread it around.”

Vaccinated people can still catch Covid, but they are more likely to have muted symptoms or none at all, so won't realise they need to take a test.

People are almost 70 per cent less likely to have a fever compared to those unvaccinated, and 55 per cent less likely to suffer fatigue.

Researchers have identified four rare symptoms to watch out for after receiving the vaccine.

Sneezing is 24 per cent more common in people under 60 who have been jabbed but still get the disease.

Others who went on to catch the bug after the jab began suffering from shortness of breath. And bizarrely, one of the potential symptoms is earache.

The final symptom to be vigilant of is swollen glands in the armpit or neck, which is less common.


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