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7 COVID-19 symptoms that should trigger a test

Researchers in the U.K. want to increase the list of COVID-19 symptoms that will require a test

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New data suggests a COVID-19 variant doesn’t account for new COVID-19 cases.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab.

NIAID-RML via Associated Press

Researchers in the United Kingdom have asked the government to add new symptoms to a list that qualifies people to receive an automatic COVID-19 test, BBC News reports.

What’s going on?

Researchers are asking the British government to add fatigue, headaches, sore throat and diarrhea to the list of symptoms that trigger a COVID-19 test, BBC News reports.

  • Currently, anyone who had a cough, fever or loss of smell or taste can receive a test, per BBC News.
  • King’s College London and the Zoe Symptom Study said adding these symptoms would pick up about 40% more cases. But it would also mean those without COVID-19 would be receiving tests.

Why it matters:

Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the study, said increased testing is necessary with new variants, according to The Daily Gazette, a news publication in the U.K.

  • “By inviting any users who log any new symptoms to get a test, we confirmed that there are many more symptoms of COVID-19.
  • “This is especially important with new variants that may cause different symptoms.
  • “For us, the message for the public is clear: If you’re feeling newly unwell, it could be COVID and you should get a test.”

U.K. symptoms and the variant

A survey from the United Kingdom — created by the University of Oxford, University of Manchester, Public Health England and Wellcome Trust — discovered that there are some slight differences in symptoms for those who had the U.K. COVID-19 variant compared to the normal mutation, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.

  • Patients with the U.K. variant were less likely to report loss of taste and smell compared to those with the normal variant, according to the survey.
  • However, frequent cough, sore throat, fatigue and myalgia were reported more often for those with the U.K. variant.