As many as 50,000 to 70,000 cases of COVID-19 in the UK could be completely missed, due to an outdated list of symptoms presented to Brits
The news comes as Professor Tim Spector of King’s College London advised that there are a great deal more symptoms of the virus for the UK to be aware of, and not only the cough and fever, which has consistently been emphasised since the very beginning of the pandemic.
Professor Spector has noted that up to 14 new symptoms can be identified as a sign of the virus, yet people continue to put a great deal of focus on coughs and fevers primarily. This only increases the absolute necessity for public symptom lists to be updated in order for UK residents to be fully aware of the symptoms they need to watch out for, which has been publicly achieved only this morning.
This news comes after a study conducted in Germany shows how the country’s death-rate could mean that as many as 7.9million Brits have already had the coronavirus without knowing.
Some of these key symptoms include loss of taste, loss of smell, fatigue, and muscle pain. These symptoms have already been outlined in other countries as potential signs of the virus, yet the UK appears to have fallen greatly behind in its updated symptoms list.
Professor Spector, Head of the Department of Genetic Epidemiology and also the leader of the COVID-19 Symptom Study App, stated:
“This country is missing them all, underestimating cases but also putting people at risk and continuing the epidemic.”
“There’s no point telling people to be alert if they don’t know the symptoms.”
His comments bring fear regarding Brits who may actually have the virus and are displaying symptoms other than a cough or fever, and that they are not being told to self-isolate as they should.
Luckily, in light of Professor Spector’s statements, a public statement has been made this morning to directly address the new symptoms which Brits need to be aware of. The UK’s four Chief Medical Officers have today released new guidelines advising of new symptoms that call for self-isolation, such as a loss of taste or smell.
The Chief Medical Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland noted that:
“All individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia.” Anosmia is the loss or a change in your normal sense of smell. This can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked.
“We have been closely monitoring the emerging data and evidence on COVID-19…we are now confident enough to recommend this new measure.”
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, advised regarding the isolation procedure should any of these new symptoms occur:
“The individual should stay at home for 7 days, or longer if they still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell or taste,”
as per the government guidelines. This advice is also aimed at the household of the individual. They should stay home for at least 14 days. The UK’s Medical Officers hope the updated symptom list will mean many more cases of the virus can be better tracked.
This comes after Large groups attended a protest over the weekend at London’s Hyde Park, labelling the COVID-19 pandemic as ‘A Fake’.