The 7 most frequent symptoms that signal the presence of the coronavirus

The 7 most frequent symptoms that signal the presence of the coronavirus

An English study has identified the seven most frequent symptoms in cases of people infected with Covid-19 with the aim of making diagnosis easier and more effective

(photo: Getty Images) Not always patients with coronavirus and some symptoms are swabbed and given a confident diagnosis. To avoid "losing" these positive cases, help could come from a guide on the main symptoms most associated with Sars-Cov-2. Today, a research team from Imperial College in the United Kingdom has again analyzed, on a very large sample of British patients, the disorders most often reported in the presence of a diagnosis of Covid-19.

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has long since provided the list of the most common symptoms, constantly updating the data, also given the appearance of new variants - some associated with slightly different clinical manifestations - can help speed up the diagnostic process and to recognize a greater number of positives. According to the British researchers there are 7 most common symptoms, listed in a work on Plos Medicine.

Recognizing cases

Today, the availability and access to tampons are much easier and simpler compared to the start of the pandemic. However, in low-middle-income countries in difficulty, tests may still be not very widespread: in some cases being able to make a diagnosis, or at least a first screening of cases, even without a swab, can be essential.

For these and other reasons, researchers took part in a study involving more than 1 million volunteers in the UK. Participants received a test for Sars-Cov-2 from June 2020 to January 2021, approximately in the second wave of the pandemic). The research is called React-1 (Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1) and is part of a series of British clinical trials that serve to better understand how the pandemic is evolving.

The 7 symptoms most common

The researchers built a model that combined data from all of these people. The 7 most recurring symptoms are: loss or alterations of smell, loss or alteration of taste, fever, new persistent cough, chills, loss of appetite and muscle aches. In the United Kingdom, the presence of the first 4 symptoms mentioned is still the discriminating element, in triage, for carrying out the test through the health system.

In Italy, the indications for the swab concern cases with symptoms ( there is no 4 symptom rule) or asymptomatic patients who have had close contact with a positive.

As we see from the English results, the changes in smell and taste, at the beginning of the pandemic not included in the official list of the WHO (and today instead present and considered common also by the body), they are now numbered among the most frequent and already included in the English criteria for undergoing the swab. While fatigue (which according to the WHO is one of the most common manifestations), sore throat and breathing difficulties are not included. The latter are not among the most common problems but they are certainly very frequent in severe cases and must raise a suspicion.

An idea to modify the criteria of the tampon

According to the researchers, the new model, based on 7 and not 4 symptoms, could help track more patients. And that is why they want a change in the eligibility criteria for the swab in the United Kingdom. In fact, estimates indicate that the sample of the symptomatic population eligible for the test for Sars-Cov-2 would increase, passing from 10% of today's individuals to 30-40%. Furthermore, according to statistical estimates, among these people about 70-75% could actually test positive for the coronavirus. "These results - explains Paul Elliott, who conducted the study together with Marc Chadeau-Hyam - suggest that many people with Covid-19 will not receive the test, therefore they will not adhere to isolation, due to their symptoms".

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Coronavirus United Kingdom Health Variants Sars-Cov-2 globalData.fldTopic = "Coronavirus, UK, Health, Sars-Cov-2 Variants"

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