The most common Covid symptom revealed – and it's NOT a dry cough

KNOWING the key coronavirus symptoms has been crucial to getting a handle on the pandemic.

As the outbreak developed experts warned that we should watch out for a new persistent dry cough, a high temperature and later, a loss of taste and smell.

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Anosmia – which is the official term for a loss of taste and smell, was added to the official NHS Covid-19 symptom list on May 18.

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

Many had put an emphasis on a persistent cough – coughing regularly for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.

But new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that a cough might not be the main symptom of the virus.

From August 15 to October 26 the ONS found the number of people testing positive for Covid with symptoms of loss of taste or smell, increased the most in all age groups.

This means that anosmia is becoming increasingly frequent in those who contract coronavirus.

People testing positive are generally more likely to have symptoms of loss of taste or smell, and fever

The graph above – provided by the ONS shows how symptoms differ across different age groups.

Their findings show that loss of taste and smell is higher across all age groups.

Meanwhile, fewer young people reported a fever, while those over 35 are more likely to suffer a high temperature.

And when it comes to a cough, the ONS data shows while the number of people suffering this symptom is rising slightly, it's the least common symptom.

School-aged kids are the least likely to suffer a cough, the data reveals.

Meanwhile, the number of youngsters suffering a loss of taste or smell has increased by as much as 45 per cent.

In kids in school year 12 and over, the rate has held steady with 35 to 45 per cent of this age group experience a loss of taste and smell after testing positive.

The ONS data shows the second most common symptom was a fever.

In recent weeks the figures show a 15 per cent increase in school-aged kids suffering a high temperature.

For the under 35s the figure levelled off to around 15-20 per cent, and was also similar in school-aged children.

'Varying symptoms'

The report stated: "The positivity rate for school-aged children with cough symptoms has remained low over the period (currently around 5 per cent) whilst the rate for others aged under 35 years and those 35 years and over has steadily increased to around 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

"This suggests cough is a less specific symptom to Covid-19 in school-aged children."

It added: "People testing positive are generally more likely to have symptoms of loss of taste or smell, and fever."

It has previously been reported that children experience different symptoms to adults after contracting the coronavirus.

Data from the King's College app revealed that 52 per cent of school aged kids who tested positive for virus did not log classic adult symptoms.

A third of children who tested positive never logged any of the 20 symptoms listed in the app, which include muscle aches and confusion, and experts suggest that this could mean that many kids are asymptomatic.

This means that they do not display symptoms – but the app stated that the most common symptom in kids is fatigue – followed by a headache, fever, sore throat and a loss of appetite.

While a cough, anosmia and a fever are all common signs, experts also warned there are other symptoms people are experiencing.

People have claimed that they have experiences hair loss, confusion and even conjunctivitis after contracting the bug.

Others have report skin issues, stomach upsets, blood clots, headaches and hearing loss.

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