Most common coronavirus symptom, researchers find, and it’s not a dry cough

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The long, dry cough associated with Covid-19 is not the most common symptom of the disease.As scientists and doctors have studied the fatal condition throughout the year, their understanding of it has grown enormously.

Warnings earlier in the year to beware of fever and a dry, prickly cough preceded reports of people losing their sense of smell and taste.

Stomach upset, fatigue, and brain fog are also common symptoms.

The latest data compiled by researchers at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows which symptom is most often reported by people with Covid-19.



Researchers looked at symptoms among those who tested positive for Covid-19

They reveal that the most frequently reported symptom among those who have tested positive for the virus is loss of smell or taste – called anosmia.

Among those over 35, between 20 and 40% of people with anosmia, compared to about 15 to 25% of this group with fever and 13 to 18% with a cough.

The difference was even more pronounced among young people, with up to 60% of those under 35 suffering from anansomy, compared with around 15 to 25% having a fever and less than 10% having a cough.



The graphs published by the ONS show the evolution of the symptoms reported

The general picture painted by the data is that from August 15 to October 26, the number of people testing positive for Covid with symptoms of loss of taste or smell increased the most across all age groups.

School-aged children are the least likely to cough, data shows.

The report states: “The positivity rate for school-aged children with cough symptoms remained low over the period (currently around 5 percent) while the rate for others under the age of 35 and 35 and over has steadily increased to around 10 percent to 15 percent.



Loss of smell and taste was the most frequently reported symptom

“This suggests that cough is a less specific symptom of Covid-19 in school-aged children.

“People who test positive are generally more likely to have symptoms of taste or odor loss and fever. ”

It has been clear to scientists for some time that children and adults suffer from the coronavirus in different ways.

Data collected by the King’s College app showed that 52% of school-age children who tested positive for the virus were not recording classic adult symptoms.

A third of children who test positive have never reported any of the 20 symptoms listed in the app, which means they are asymptomatic.

The importance of knowing which symptoms are most likely to betray a coronavirus case is that it can help people avoid spreading the bug.

The official advice is that if you develop any of these signs, you should self-isolate and order a test immediately.

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