Headache, sore throat and runny nose are now the most reported symptoms of Covid, scientists say.
NHS bosses recognize only three warning signs of the virus – fever, a new prolonged cough and loss of taste and smell.
But researchers at King’s College London, who are leading a project to monitor the coronavirus, say the disease “works differently now.”
Headache is now the most reported symptom of Covid, while sore throat is the second most complained of, but none of it is on the official list of viral symptoms.
Scientists believe that the variant of the Indian delta, which is spreading rapidly since early May, may be behind the change in symptoms.
It can also be due to younger people becoming infected and they are more likely to suffer from a mild illness.
Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, warned that the Indian version is now “more like a cold” for younger people.
Lead researcher Professor Tim Spector said people should be tested if they think they have a cold to limit the potential spread of Covid.
What are the symptoms of Covid?
The NHS cited fever along with a new and persistent cough as the main symptoms of the virus.
He later added a loss or change in smell or taste as a symptom of the virus, following pressure from Covid activists.
Most people who catch Covid and show symptoms have at least one of them, according to the NHS.
But other studies suggest that loss of appetite, skin rashes, hives, muscle aches and diarrhea may be symptoms of Covid.
The United States recognizes 11 symptoms, which also include headache and runny nose.
About a third of people with the virus are asymptomatic and may unknowingly pass it on to others.
The king’s team tracked the symptoms of the virus through an application called ZOE, which launched last March. This is the largest study to track symptoms in the country.
Data analyzed from the ZOE application show that cough is the most common symptom at the beginning of a pandemic, with 46% of infected patients having a symptom.
But now she has a headache, sore throat, runny nose and fever, says Professor Spector.
Fewer people report having lost their sense of taste or are small, and anosmia is 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 kind of seasonal cold and still go to parties and can spread it around.
“We have been looking at the best symptoms since the beginning of May and they are not the same as before.
“Number one is a headache, followed by a sore throat, runny nose and fever. All these are not the old classic symptoms, number five is a cough, so it is less common and we no longer even see a loss of odor in the top 10.
“This option seems to work a little differently.”
In February, more than 140 GPs wrote to Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, urging the government to add more cold-like symptoms to the official list.
Dr Alex Sohal, a GP at Tower Hamlets, London, who is the lead author of the letter, said patients reported these mild symptoms and continued to test positive for Covid for several days.
Earlier research by the Office for National Statistics showed that fatigue was the most commonly reported symptom, followed by headache and cough.
Their data, collected through a survey of 10,000 people and published in April, reveal that about 53 percent of people who test positive for the virus do not suffer from symptoms.
The UK yesterday registered 7,393 cases of Covid, an increase of 40% over the previous week.
Cases have been on the rise for several weeks because of the Indian version, which left June 21 “Freedom Day” in doubt.
Despite reported deaths and hospital admissions are still low, there is a delay between the increase in infections. The number of infected patients in need of medical treatment is slowly increasing.
Data on British daily infections show that 7,393 people have been tested positive for the virus, the highest since February. But virus deaths are currently low and the vaccine has already given 28.2 million people both doses of the vaccine.