Cold chills, loss of appetite, headaches and muscle aches could be newly discovered symptoms of COVID-19 infection, according to a new study
Based on swab tests and questionnaires that had been taken from June of 2020 up until last month as part of the REACT study, from Imperial College London, of over one million people, those with these symptoms were more likely to end up testing positive for the coronavirus.
These symptoms are in addition to the “classic” symptoms of COVID-19 that are already included within the NHS guidance, which are:
• New persistent cough
• Loss of sense of smell and/or taste
The more symptoms that people showed, the more likely it was that they were to then test positive for the coronavirus, although the study pointed out that around 60% of the infected people did not report any of the symptoms at all in the week leading up to their COVID-19 test.
This comes after the Prime Minister has now said that he hopes it will be safe to reopen schools in England from the 8th of March, as he told MPs that he intends to set out a plan for easing lockdown restrictions in the week beginning on the 22nd of February.
There was some variation within symptoms depending on the age group of the person, but cold chills had been associated with COVID-19 across all of the age groups.
Headaches were most reported from young people who were aged five to 17, although they were the age group that were the least likely to report the classic symptoms of COVID-19; being a fever and a persistent cough.
Appetite loss was seen a most common in the 18 to 54-year-old age group, as well as those who were over the age of 55, and muscle aches were also common in those people aged between 18 and 54.
People in England are being currently encouraged to get an NHS test if they are suffering from any of the “classic” COVID-19 symptoms.
The scientific researchers have estimated that if everyone who was suffering from these symptoms got tested for the coronavirus, around half of all symptomatic COVID-19 infections would be detected.
But if these new symptoms are included to that list, then they believe that this number could rise to around three quarters.
This comes after thousands of extra COVID tests are being rolled out in Manchester after a mutation of the Kent variant was found in the city. Four people from two unconnected households were found with the E484K mutation, Manchester City Council said, and 10,000 extra tests will now be distributed.
The research also suggested that those who were infected with the new coronavirus variant that was first discovered in Kent could be less likely to have a loss or change to their sense of smell, while the proportion of people with a new persistent cough increased.
Scientists compared symptoms and swab test results collected in November and December, when the new variant was estimated to make up around 16% of infections, with similar data collected in January – when it was thought to be behind half of cases.
This seems in line with earlier findings from the Office for National Statistics.