Health & Fitness Number of Britons getting Covid symptoms has HALVED in a week
Runny nose, sore throat and headache should be added as Covid symptoms
The group of 140 doctors from east London warned many patients who suffer from milder symptoms of the virus have often not even considered they may have it and have not self-isolated.The NHS says the only three tell-tale signs of the illness are a fever, cough or loss of taste and smell. But the World Health Organization and officials in the US recognise other less common symptoms such as muscle pain and diarrhoea.
The number of Britons getting tell-tale Covid symptoms has more than halved in a week, as the UK continues to bounce back from the depths of the pandemic in winter.
The Covid Symptom Study, run by ZOE and King's College London, estimated there were around 1,924 people becoming ill every day from March 20 to April 3 — down 54 per cent from 4,152 per day the previous week.
Data showed that zero people reported symptoms of Covid in Northern Ireland and the North East of England over the week.
And the sharp decrease comes after a period of levelling off, which experts blamed on schools opening up, with symptomatic cases only falling by around 20 per cent a week during the middle of March.
Should a runny nose be added to the official Covid-19 symptom list?
A group of 140 GPs have written to Prof Chris Whitty asking that a runny nose should be included on the official list of symptoms as many Covid-19 patients are initially presenting with signs of a common cold.But three have remained consistent: a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, and a loss of smell or taste.
Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London, said the UK has now reached similar levels of symptomatic cases, deaths and hospitalisations to those seen in July last year.
The figures compliment data released by NHS Test and Trace today, which showed the number of people testing positive for Covid fell by a fifth to 29,293 between March 25 and March 31 compared to the previous week.
Some 4.8million people were tested at least once during the week — an 18 per cent fall on the previous week — because some schools shut earlier for Easter.
Department of Health data yesterday which showed official Covid cases fell by a third in a week to 2,763 yesterday. But deaths rose slightly by two to 45. Hospital admissions are also still falling.
Is NHS about to add more symptoms to official Covid list?
Swabs and questionnaires done on more than a million people in England found infected patients were equally as likely to suffer headaches, muscle pains, chills or loss of appetite.A Government-led study of a million people in England revealed infected patients were also likely to suffer headaches, muscle pains, chills or a loss of appetite.
The Office for National Statistics will today publish a new estimate of how many people in the country have the virus. Last week it was 148,100 — the lowest figure since before the second wave spiralled out of control and down almost 10 per cent on the previous seven-day spell.
Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app, said the UK's figures are among the lowest in Europe.
Around 1.1MILLION Britons have 'long Covid', ONS figures show
The Office for National Statistics questioned 20,000 adults who had the virus on their symptoms up to a year after catching the virus, and used these results to estimate rates across the UK.And 70,000 people say they have battled fatigue and other crippling symptoms for a over a year.
He said: 'According to the latest data, daily new cases of Covid have more than halved over a seven day period, with cases now below 2,000. These figures are among the lowest in Europe.
'Admissions and deaths are also continuing to decline, putting the UK in a similar place to July last year. It's unlikely that cases will continue to fall at this pace, but with the vaccinations programme and the weather improving, it's likely they will remain low.'
The study estimates one in 1,394 people suffered from Covid symptoms last week, with 1,529 people becoming ill per day in England, compared to 316 in Scotland, 79 in Wales and zero in Northern Ireland.
The figures are based on over a million app users reporting their symptoms and so cannot take into account people who get the virus but don't have symptoms. It also doesn't include people in hospitals or care homes.
Covid infections have more than halved in a month, says major study
Imperial College London epidemiologists estimated 0.2 per cent of England's population had the virus in March - or one in 500. For comparison, some 0.49 per cent had the virus the month before.Imperial College London epidemiologists estimated 0.2 per cent of England's population, or one in 500, were infected between March 11 and 30 compared to 0.49 per cent in February, a fall of 60 per cent.
Rates were lowest in the North East of England, with no one developed symptoms, and the East Midlands, where just 92 became ill each day.
They were highest in the Yorkshire and the Humber (454) and London (305), while the East of England was the only other area of the country to see less than a hundred a day (99).
The estimated R rate, measuring the number of people infected by each person with the virus, is close to 0.8 in England and Scotland and just 0.5 in Wales. An R of 1 means the outbreak is neither growing nor shrinking.
SAGE will publish an updated official estimate of the R rate later today. Last week it was thought to be somewhere between 0.8 and 1.
Matt Hancock faced a backlash this week after he claimed a multi-billion pound plan to test everyone for coronavirus twice a week is the only way 'back to normality' — despite fears a surge in 'false positives' could actually derail the lockdown easing.
The PM and Health Secretary announced a huge expansion of testing with free rapid kits made available to everyone in England from tomorrow.
But professor Spector warned people to confirm positive rapid test results with a full NHS PCR test to prevent false positives biasing case data and making the pandemic seem larger than it is.
He said: 'This week the government announced plans to make home-based lateral flow tests accessible as a tactic to catch more cases.
Covid symptoms update: Seven uncommon signs warning of an infection you need to know
COVID symptoms update: Its imperative a person should be aware of all potential signs and symptoms warning they may be infected. What are the seven uncommon signs warning of an infection?According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the main symptoms of coronavirus usually include:
'According to our own data, five in 1000 of these tests give a false positive result, so we are encouraging people to take a lateral flow test at least twice if positive and confirm it with a full NHS PCR test.
'However, people also need to know all the 20 symptoms, including sore throat, headache and fatigue, not just the classic three. So if you feel unwell with any of the symptoms of Covid, stay at home and get a test.'
It comes as the UK's medical regulator today recommended all healthy under-30s should be offered an alternative to AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine amid mounting evidence that it may cause blood clots in very rare cases.
In a blow to the programme, the Government's vaccine advisory group recommended healthy people aged 19 to 29 should be offered either the Pfizer or Moderna jabs when the roll-out is expanded.
A review by the drugs watchdog the MHRA found that by the end of March, 79 out of 20million Britons vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jab had suffered deadly blood clots in the brain or arteries - a rate of about one in 250,000. Nineteen of these individuals died and three were under the age of 30.
Anyone who has already had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, regardless of their age, is being advised to go for their second appointment as planned.
Experts stressed the blood clots were very rare, and England's deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van Tam said the risk from Covid always outweighs that from vaccine side-effects for older age groups who are more likely to suffer hospitalisation and death if they catch the virus.
The surprising ways to beat the pollen season .
Millions suffer from hay fever, and many will be aware the time of itchy eyes is upon us. The pollen season so far has been a bad one thanks to dry weather.With warnings that the hay fever season is getting longer and worsening — and concerns about the confusing similarity between hay fever and Covid symptoms — here, experts explain everything you need to know....