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    Chills, appetite loss, headache may also be COVID-19 symptoms: UK study


    LONDON: A study of over a million people in England has revealed additional symptoms linked with having coronavirus, which could include chills, loss of appetite, headache and muscle ache.

    While these wider symptoms were noted in addition to the known or so-called classic symptoms of loss of sense of smell and taste, fever and new persistent cough, around 60 per cent of infected people did not report any symptoms in the week leading up to their test, the Imperial College London led Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) study revealed on Wednesday.

    “These new findings suggest many people with COVID-19 won’t be getting tested — and therefore won’t be self-isolating — because their symptoms don’t match those used in current public health guidance to help identify infected people,” said Professor Paul Elliott, director of the REACT programme at Imperial.

    “We understand that there is a need for clear testing criteria, and that including lots of symptoms which are commonly found in other illnesses like seasonal flu could risk people self-isolating unnecessarily.

    I hope that our findings on the most informative symptoms mean that the testing programme can take advantage of the most up-to-date evidence, helping to identify more infected people,” he said.

    Swab tests and questionnaires collected between June 2020 and January 2021 as part of the study showed that among these other symptoms, chills, loss of appetite, headache and muscle aches were together most strongly linked with being infected, alongside the four so-called classic symptoms.

    Having any of these other symptoms or the classic ones, either alone or in combination, was associated with infection with the coronavirus and the more symptoms people showed the more likely they were to test positive.

    The study also found that there was variation in symptoms with age.

    While chills were linked with testing positive across all ages, headaches were reported in young people aged 5-17, appetite loss in 18-54 and 55+, and muscle aches in people aged 18-54.(PTI)

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