UK is 'missing Covid cases' by only listing three telltale signs – not 11, expert warns

THE UK is “behind the rest of the world” and is “missing Covid cases” by only listing three virus symptoms, experts have warned.

The NHS currently lists three key telltale symptoms of the coronavirus which include a high temperature, a new continuous cough and loss of smell or taste.

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On May 13 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US added Covid symptoms which include diarrhoea, a runny or blocked nose and nausea.

While the CDC says there are 11 primary symptoms, the group also admits the virus can cause side effects which could be different depending on the patient.

These symptoms are; fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting.

The NHS suggests that most people who have contracted Covid-19 have one of the three main symptoms and suggests that if you have these symptoms then you should get tested.



One expert has developed a symptom-tracking app to help people add the symptoms they are experiencing.

Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s College London along with his team published a study in May with findings from the app.

Between 24 March and 21 April 2020, over two million UK citizens and 168,000 US citizens reported symptoms through the app.

Writing in the study, Prof Spector said: “All ten symptoms queried (fever, persistent cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, diarrhoea, delirium, skipped meals, abdominal pain, chest pain and hoarse voice) were associated with testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK cohort, after adjusting for multiple testing.”

Speaking to MailOnline today he added that the app study lists a variety of symptoms so the public knows what to look out for.

“The UK's limited list of symptoms is out of line with the rest of the world and an important reason we are failing to detect the majority of new cases and pick them up in the first few days.”

He added that more and more symptoms were emerging every month as the pandemic progressed.

"All this governmental data on confirmed cases and how many people have recovered, it’s all nonsense”, he added.

Symptoms from the Covid-19 study app

Prof Tim Spector says people using the app have logged 19 symptoms.

  • Loss of smell/taste
  • Persistent cough
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Fever
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Shortness of breathe
  • Diarrhoea
  • Delirium
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Hoarse voice
  • Eye soreness
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

The Covid Symptom tracker app predicts that around 2,300 Brits are being hit with the virus each day.

So far in the UK over 43,000 people have died from the virus but Prof Spector said only people with the three main virus symptoms highlighted by Public Health England are being included in the official data sets.

Prof Spector said people need to remain cautious when heading back into normal life.

The city of Leicester has been warned it could face a localised lockdown after cases spiked in the area.

The app suggests that the virus is spreading mostly in the Midlands but it is not specific as to whether or not this is the East or West.

The app states that the Midlands is experiencing 716 cases a day.

This is compared to 330 in the North East and Yorkshire and 319 in the East of England.

Despite the uptick in cases in the Midlands, data from the Covid app had previously suggested that people in London and the South East should be cautious.

On June 18 experts warned that people in those areas needed to be “more vigilant”.

This was due to the fact that figures had dropped the least in these areas.

Data from the app requires swab testing and data from care homes is excluded as there is not a sufficient pool of information available.


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