Covid-19: Researchers want these symptoms to be added to those that trigger a test

Jane McGuire
·1-min read
Photo credit: Jackyenjoyphotography - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jackyenjoyphotography - Getty Images

From Runner's World

  • Researchers want the UK government to add fatigue, headache, sore throat and diarrhoea to the existing symptoms that trigger a Covid-19 test.

  • At the moment, only people with a cough, fever or loss of smell or taste qualify for a test.

King's College London and the Zoe Symptom Study app have suggested that testing for the additional four symptoms could pick up 40% more coronavirus cases.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson told BBC News: 'An expert scientific group keeps the symptoms of Covid-19 under review.

'The main symptoms have been carefully selected to capture those most likely to have Covid-19, while not capturing a great number of people who do not.'

The worry is that by adding the extra four symptoms to the list, a larger number of people would be tested for coronavirus when they do not have it.

Earlier in the pandemic, the Zoe Symptom Study app were the first to identify loss of smell and taste as a symptom of coronavirus. They spotted this by looking at the symptoms reported by those using the app, who then went on to test positive for coronavirus.

Dr Claire Steves, lead scientist on the app, said, 'When PCR testing was scarcely available, it made sense to restrict it.

'Now in the UK we have plenty of tests available, thanks to so much effort by labs all over the country, and every positive person detected could save lives.'

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