CORONAVIRUS infections are falling across the UK – but there are still some tell-tale signs and symptoms you should be on the look out for.
Whether you’ve already had the virus or not – experts say there are some longer lasting symptoms which could reveal if you’ve had Covid in the last year.
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There are some symptoms you need to watch out for – even if you’ve already had Covid-19[/caption]
The three main symptoms of Covid-19 are a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell (anosmia).
If you have any of these symptoms then you should get a test and isolate in order to stop the spread of the virus.
While there are three main symptoms, people contracting Covid over the last year have also reported issues such as headaches, hair loss and fatigue.
Hundreds of thousands of people who had tested positive for Covid-19 have also been left with long Covid.
This is a term used to describe people who have been left with long-lasting symptoms after contracting Covid-19 such as muscle aches, fatigue and other debilitating issues.
It was yesterday revealed that infections in the UK have plunged 40 per cent week-on-week and are at levels last seen during summer last year.
While infections are falling, you should still be alert when it comes to spotting Covid-19.
But what are the signs you should be looking out for?
1. Stomach ache
One of the main symptoms of Covid-19 is a loss of taste – and this in turn could put you off your food.
Some patients have also reported that they experience a metal like taste after contracting the virus – which meant even their favourite dishes didn’t taste the same anymore.
A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that many people who had Covid had also experience stomach issues.
Writing in the report, the experts said that 48 per cent of people who had been infected in China’s Hubei province had experienced issues such as diarrhoea.
The study looked at 204 patients and also found that 3.9 per cent experienced vomiting and 1.9 per cent experienced abdominal pain.
It stated that in total, over 50 per cent of the patients had experienced some form of digestive issue after contracting the virus.
A study by researchers in the US found that around 50 per cent of patients who contracted Covid-19 also experienced fatigue.
Almost six in ten people suffer fatigue – severe tiredness – after recovering from Covid.
Some are dealing with fatigue 100 days after they first became unwell with the coronavirus.
Various studies have now found fatigue to be the most frequent and debilitating long Covid problem.
Dr Lopez-Leon and colleagues said fatigue and other long Covid symptoms are similar to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
CFS is a long-term illness that causes someone to feel extremely tired as well as having sleep problems, joint and muscle pain, headaches, and flu-like symptoms.
They said it would be “tempting to say” that Covid was another cause of CFS.
Many people who suffer from Covid-19 feel tired and have issues sleeping[/caption]
Shortness of breath – medically called dyspnea – was found in a quarter of Covid survivors in the US.
And abnormalities in lung scans were seen in 35 per cent of patients, up to 100 days after sickness with the coronavirus.
Decreases in lung function were seen in 10 per cent.
The researchers said it is difficult to assess whether lung problems were there prior to Covid because most patients do not have a “before” scan to compare with.
Being out of breath could be a sign of the virus and many patients who contract severe strains of the virus have been placed on ventilators in order to aid their breathing.
This is due to the fact that Covid-19 is a virus that attacks your lungs.
4. Brain fog
Many people with long Covid have difficulty concentrating and thinking and some have even experienced short-term memory loss as a result of the virus.
In a handful of cases, some patients have also reported psychosis and delirium.
A recent study also found that 44 per cent of people who had Covid suffered from attention disorder.
Brain fog could be a result of the coronavirus directly impacting the brain, oxygen deprivation during Covid, medications, or the stress of having Covid – a deadly disease.
5. Red or sore eyes
The College of Optometrists explained that any upper respiratory tract infection – like Covid-19, could result in viral conjunctivitis.
The experts stated that this would be a secondary complication of the virus and not one of the main causes.
“However, it is unlikely that a person would present with viral conjunctivitis secondary to Covid without other symptoms of fever or a continuous cough as conjunctivitis seems to be a late feature where is has occurred”, they said.
Conditions such as conjunctivitis have been identified in some people who have contracted Covid-19[/caption]
6. A cough
We all know that a new persistent cough is a key symptom of Covid-19.
For some people who suffer with allergies or who already have a cough, this could be hard to distinguish.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and Clinical Director of Patientaccess.com. says a dry persistent cough is:
- New for you (or different from your normal cough if, for instance, you have a ‘smoker’s cough’)
- Persistent – not just because you’re clearing your throat or because you have something caught in your throat.
- It needs to last for at least half a day
- A dry (rather than “fruity” cough) is more likely to be due to coronavirus, but you need to self-isolate regardless of whether your cough is dry or productive.
The NHS describes a “dry cough” as a cough where no phlegm or mucus is produced, which is also irritating and usually associated with a tickly throat.
A new dry cough is likely to be a sign of Covid-19[/caption]
7. Loss of taste and smell
A loss of taste and smell is another key coronavirus symptom and was added to the official list of symptoms in May last year.
Experts at the ZOE Symptom Tracker app previously said that while you might not lose your sense of taste or smell completely – they could be altered due to the virus.
The lead on the study, Professor Tim Spector said: “While some people don’t experience the loss, they find everything tastes strange.
“It’s often described as a metallic taste in the mouth.
“Some people have even said their own body odour smells strange. They feel like they stink and find it very unpleasant.”
The British Association of Otorhinolaryngology said that this symptom could be down to the virus killing cells in the nose and throat.
It states: “Evidence from other countries that the entry point for the coronavirus is often in the eyes, nose and throat areas,” the association said in a statement.
“We have also identified a new symptom (loss of sense of smell and taste) that may mean that people without other symptoms but with just the loss of this sense may have to self-isolate – again to reduce the spread of the virus.”
If you’ve lost your sense of taste and smell then you could also see a decrease in appetite[/caption]
8. High temperature
A high temperature is another key sign of Covid-19.
A high temperature or fever is typically considered to be 38C (100.4F) or over.
However, the NHS advises that feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back could be a coronavirus symptom, and you do not need to measure your temperature.
According to the NHS, the standard body temperature in adults is 37C (98.6F).
However this amount can fluctuate slightly depending on the person’s age, the time of day and the current activity.
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It is generally accepted that 36.1C (97F) to 37.2C (99F) is a normal range for body temperature.
For babies and children, the normal body temperature is 36.4C (97.5F), but again, this can vary slightly.
It’s important that if you think you have Covid-19 then you get a test to avoid spreading the virus.
You can get a test from sites across the country even if you don’t have any symptoms.