Alarming stats reveal almost HALF of Brits don’t know key Covid symptoms
ALMOST half of all Brits still don’t know the three classic Covid symptoms – a year on from the start of the pandemic.
Despite living with the virus for 12 months, a quarter aren’t getting tested even if they have obvious symptoms.
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Worrying research from the Zoe Covid Symptom App found 50 per cent of the over-65s couldn't identify a cough, fever or loss of taste or smell as a key virus trait.
Older people appeared to know less about the bug, and what to do if they need to get checked.
And many Brits from all ages said they didn't know where to go to get a coronavirus test.
Authors of the study wrote: “Despite current UK messaging on Covid-19 testing, there is a knowledge gap about when and where to test, and this may be contributing to the 25 per cent testing gap.
“Risk factors, including older age and less education, highlight potential opportunities to tailor public health messages."
In the UK the test-qualifying symptoms (fever, cough, or loss of smell) are relatively straightforward, have been consistent since loss of smell was added to the criteria on May 18 last year, and are buttressed by a free, high-capacity, national testing programme.
"This is in contrast to other countries where criteria for testing have been more nuanced, varied over time and between regions, and testing access remains suboptimal.
"Yet, despite the strengths of the UK programme, we observed that 25 per cent of symptom-tracking app participants do not report testing despite experiencing test-qualifying symptoms."
KNOW THE SIGNS
Earlier this year, scientists behind the Zoe app warned four common Covid symptoms must be added to the official list after millions of cases were missed.
Experts said a sore throat, headache, fatigue and diarrhoea should be considered as main virus symptoms – on top of the classic persistent cough, fever and loss of smell or taste.
They think this would help pick up about a third more cases of the bug.
Millions of infections were delayed in being found or missed entirely as people wouldn’t get a test with these four symptoms, the scientists argued.
PCR swab tests only allow for people to book in to see if they have the virus if they have the three NHS listed symptoms. But this form of testing is the most reliable.
Health officials say the most common symptoms of coronavirus infection usually include: a dry cough, a high temperature, shortness of breath, muscle pain, fatigue.
Some people will not develop all of these symptoms – and some might not even show symptoms at all.
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