Covid symptoms update: The most common and surprising symptoms reported by patients

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The novel coronavirus is known to affect people differently with many reporting one major symptom which is known to even persist even after infection. For some people, the virus can cause no symptoms at all making the threat of a spread more palpable with vaccines being a potential way to minimise risk. 

Data from the UK-wide Office for National Statistics survey found that a large number of people did not report experiencing any symptoms from COVID-19.

The findings again highlight the danger of asymptomatic individuals potentially being able to spread the virus in the community.

Among those who did report symptoms in the seven days prior to being tested, fatigue or weakness was the most common – affecting more than one in three people.

Other common symptoms which followed include headache, cough, sore throat, muscle ache, fever, and shortness of breath.

Loss of taste or loss of smell was reported by around one in five people experiencing Covid symptoms.

The least common symptoms were nausea/vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain, but taken together these “gastrointestinal” symptoms were found in one in five people who tested positive with a high viral load.

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Fatigue is a common symptom in those presenting with symptomatic COVID-19 infection, said the National Library of Health.

It continued: “However, it is unknown if COVID-19 results in persistent fatigue in those recovered from acute infection. 

“Our findings demonstrate a significant burden of post-viral fatigue in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection after the acute phase of COVID-19 illness.

“This study highlights the importance of assessing those recovering from COVID-19 for symptoms of severe fatigue, irrespective of severity of initial illness, and may identify a group worthy of further study and early intervention.”

The virus is known to take two to 14 days for symptoms to begin appearing with the average incubation period being roughly five to six days.  

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), symptoms of coronavirus can be mild and come on gradually.

According to The Lancet, when hospital admission is necessary, this typically occurs from seven days onwards.   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that a person with COVID-19 can experience a wide range of symptoms.

How to respond to symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a test as soon as possible.

You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.

A support bubble is where someone who lives alone (or just with their children) can meet people from one other household.
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