The 15 Covid-19 symptoms and warning signs scientists have found including Covid tongue and toes

You know the big three already.

A new and continuous cough; a high temperature; and loss of a sense of taste and smell are the most important warning signs for Covid-19 – and anyone who has them should self-isolate and get a test at once.

But scientists studying the illness have found 12 less well known symptoms we all should be aware of, The Mirror reports.

The free NHS test is presently only offered to people who have one of the three official symptoms.

But researchers are urging people to be aware of other symptoms people who have tested positive for Covid-19 have experienced.

If you experience these, they say, you might even want to consider self-isolation to prevent spreading possible infection to others.

They say the most commonly reported six outside of the three official symptoms are: headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle pains, diarrhoea, skin rash, and confusion and delirium in elderly people.

They are also examining the recently reported ‘Covid tongue’.

The Zoe Covid Symptom Study is a leading UK study in collaboration with epidemiologists at King’s College London.

It tracks the symptoms of more than four million people globally, and the UK app users’ entries have been used by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to predict case numbers across the UK.

The researchers have been warning people with Covid still present with less common symptoms that don’t get on the official Public Health England (PHE) list – such as skin rashes.

They have also recently provided a list of early warning signs, and published a study in the British Medical Journal about the six most common clusters of Covid symptoms, which you can also read more about below.

These are all the symptoms the app has examined and which researchers want people to know about:

The NHS official symptoms

1. New, continuous cough

Someone with a ‘continuous’ cough will have been coughing a lot for more than an hour, or have experienced three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.

If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual – for example, a smoker’s cough that you’re used to probably wouldn’t be a sign.

The persistent cough symptom is more often reported by adults aged between 18-65 than by the elderly or children, the Zoe Covid app study of a sample of 4,182 individuals with positive test found.

2. High temperature

This sign is often the first to appear – but it may disappear most quickly too.

You don’t need a thermometer to check this: the NHS says a fever means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back.

If you can measure, a temperature of 38C or over is considered to be a fever.

To determine whether a child has a fever, you should check whether they feel hotter than usual when you touch their back or chest, feel sweaty, or look or feel unwell.

The researchers said 40% of all age groups reported having a fever in the first seven days.



You don’t need a thermometer, but if you have one it can be helpful

3. Loss of senses of taste and smell

This is also known as ‘anosmia.’ Many people who have tested positive for Covid-19 have noted this classic symptom lasting for weeks or months even after a very mild infection.

You should get a test if you’ve noticed food tastes different or if things smell different as well.

This symptom is a good sign for Covid because it can cause a lack of sense of smell without any blocked nose at all, which is unusual and doesn’t occur in many other conditions.

The symptoms of loss of taste and smell are more often reported by adults aged between 18-65, than by the elderly or children, the Zoe Covid app study found.

This age group tends to report more loss of smell (55%) than the elderly or the young (65-plus 26% and under-18s 21%).

Symptoms officially recognised in the US

4. Headaches

Zoe Covid app researchers say headaches were actually among the most common early symptoms reported before a positive test and may be a sign. But only 3% experienced headaches and fatigue alone, meaning if you only have a headache, it’s likely to be for other reasons.

People who got a test after having a headache didn’t tend to actually have the virus: only 1% of the app users who did this went on to test positive for the virus. But of those people who had actually tested positive, 82% said a headache has been an early symptom.

Only 9% of Covid-positive adults aged 18 – 65 didn’t experience headache or fatigue.



A woman suffering from a headache

5. Fatigue and severe fatigue

A total of 72% of Covid-positive people experienced fatigue.

But the concern is that this isn’t a good sign of the virus, because feeling tired is generally a fairly common, benign experience. So simply feeling fatigued wouldn’t be a good reason to allow people to have Covid tests.

Covid sufferers have described fatigue that leaves even young, fit and health people bed-ridden, an effect which may continue as part of ‘long Covid’, according to some reports.

A variety of viruses are known to trigger debilitating post-viral fatigue, the NHS says.

6. Sore throat

A sore throat is more often reported by adults aged between 18-65 than any other age group, according to the study.

But the symptom is also is common in many illnesses and allergies – especially in winter.

The study noted the symptom in more than half (52.6%) of people who tested positive, generally setting in later in the course of the illness.

More than 91% had noticed a sore throat by the end of the first week of their symptoms, compared to three-quarters in the first three days.

7. Unusual muscle aches

United States officials updated the country’s guidelines late last year to include body pains.

The CDC added muscle or body aches to its list of official symptoms known to appear two to 14 days after exposure.

New York University researchers found a link between sore muscles and serious Covid-19 cases during an analysis of 53 patients in Wenzhou, China.

Nearly half of Covid-positive patients on the Zoe Covid study researchers reported ‘unusual’ muscle aches, which were not caused by any particular activity like exercise.

But the NHS does say that many people may actually experience joint and muscle aches after Covid because unwell people are often unable to move around and exercise easily.

People have told the health service the most common problems after being unwell include shoulder and back problems, and odd or altered feelings such as numbness, and pins and needles or weakness in the arms or legs.

The NHS says most of these problems come after hospitalisation, and should improve quickly.

8. Diarrhoea

A study of 204 Covid patients in China, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, found nearly 50% had diarrhoea, vomiting or abdominal pain.

The Zoe Covid Study researchers found 32% of participants reported experiencing diarrhoea, generally within the first week of symptoms.

Dr Diana Gall told the Express : “Digestion problems and changes in bowel habits – particularly looser stools and making more frequent trips to the toilet – are sometimes the first signs that you’re coming down with something, not just with this coronavirus.

“However, diarrhoea has been reported as an early symptom in patients who have later tested positive for Covid-19.”

9. Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath is most common among adults aged between 18-65, the Zoe Covid app researchers found.

A total 39% reported the symptom, compared to 34% of over 65s, and 23% of under-18s.

The Zoe Covid app study differentiates between shortness of breath and severe shortness of breath, as some sufferers go to hospital struggling to breathe at all, and may even need oxygen or ventilation support in intensive care.

Reported but not official symptoms

10. Skin rash and ‘Covid fingers and toes’

Researchers have linked a variety of rashes with coronavirus – including ‘Covid fingers and toes.’

The Zoe Covid app and King’s College researchers found these among 8.8% of people in their study who tested positive for Covid-19.

They launched further investigations, with a survey of 12,000 people with skin rashes and suspected or confirmed Covid.



Photo issued by Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology of a person showing a skin symptom known as Covid toes

They found that 17% of respondents testing positive for coronavirus reported a rash as the first symptom of the disease.

And one in five people who reported a rash and were confirmed as being infected with coronavirus said the rash was their only symptom of the disease.

Here are the rash types the researchers have warned to keep an eye out for:

  • Hive-type rash (urticaria): Sudden appearance of raised bumps on the skin which come and go quite quickly over hours and are usually very itchy. It can involve any part of the body, and often starts with intense itching of the palms or soles, and can cause swelling of the lips and eyelids. These rashes can present quite early on in the infection, but can also last a long time afterwards.
  • ‘Prickly heat’ or chickenpox-type rash (erythemato-papular or erythemato-vesicular rash): Areas of small, itchy red bumps that can occur anywhere on the body, but particularly the elbows and knees as well as the back of the hands and feet. The rash can persist for days or weeks.
  • Covid fingers and toes (chilblains): Reddish and purplish bumps on the fingers or toes, which may be sore but not usually itchy. This type of rash is most specific to Covid-19, is more common in younger people with the disease, and tends to present later on.

Although not on the PHE list, a rash on skin and discolouration of fingers or toes are all listed as less common symptoms of the virus by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

11. Loss of appetite

A loss of appetite or skipping meals are key symptoms you should be aware of.

The Zoe Covid app study found nearly half (41%) of people who tested positive reported they had stopped feeling hungry, or were disinterested in eating.

12. Confusion or delirium

Vulnerable elderly people can be particularly affected by this symptom, according to the study.

Those over 65 reported being confused, disorientated and having severe shortness of breath more often than all other other groups.

The discovery of delirium as a probable symptom first emerged from a study of Covid-19 patient admissions to St Thomas’ Hospital, London.

The study found many of the patients presenting with confusion or delirium had no difference in fever or cough.

But they did tend to present with fatigue and shortness of breath.

The NHS defines delirium as:

13. Chest pains

The NHS 111 advice service describes chest pains as like a ‘tight band or heavy weight in or around the chest’.

Experts say this symptom can accompany a feeling or a shortness of breath in Covid cases.

Seven in twenty 18 to 65-year-olds reported chest pain, the Zoe Covid app researchers found.

At the moment, the NHS 111 service will only tell people calling about chest pain to get a Covid test if they are also experiencing a fever or cough.

14. Hoarse voice

One-third of Covid-positive people in the Zoe Covid Symptoms study noted a hoarse voice.

Nearly nine in ten reported the symptom by the end of the first week, suggesting it develops after a few days.

Experts say other symptoms of viral illness, like a sore throat and coughing can cause hoarseness.

It can also be affected by a change to your ability to breathe or swallow.

15. Abdominal pain

As noted above, nearly 50 per cent in a study in China’s Hubei province experienced gastro symptoms -including abdominal pain.

According to the Zoe Covid app researchers, around a quarter of participants experienced this symptom, with around three quarters noting it within the first week.

A suspected symptom

‘Covid Tongue’

An expert has recently warned the public to watch out for so-called ‘Covid tongue.

Professor Tim Spector posted a picture of a Covid-19 sufferer’s red tongue on Twitter as an example.

The epidemiologist at King’s College London said just last week he was seeing increasing numbers of ‘Covid tongue’ and ‘strange mouth ulcers’.

This is currently being treated by the Zoe Covid Symptoms study as a suspected symptom, as it is anecdotal at this stage.

  • Do you have symptoms that worry you? Call NHS 111 for advice, or if you have one of the three official symptoms, check how you can book an NHS Covid-19 test here.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest