The United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) has updated its list of symptoms for COVID-19, a move that has been requested by many for a long time. Since the pandemic began, the website has shown just three symptoms: a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, and a loss or change to the sense of smell and taste.
For a long time now, we have known that these are not the only symptoms and as variant replaced variant, they are no longer the main symptoms. Professor Tim Spector who leads the ZOE COVID Symptom Tracker welcomes the change but points out that the order in which the NHS has put the symptoms is not the one they see.
The newly added symptoms on the NHS website are:
- shortness of breath
- feeling tired or exhausted
- an aching body
- a headache
- a sore throat
- a blocked or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick or being sick
But data collected by users with the ZOE App shows that the most common symptom of the Omicron variant is a runny nose (74 percent), headache (67 percent), sore throat (64 percent), fatigue (64 percent), and sneezing (60 percent). All other symptoms, including the "quintessentially COVID" loss of smell, happen in less than half the cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have had more extensive lists of symptoms on their websites for a while, but they still seem to very much focus on symptoms of the earlier version of SARS-CoV-2 instead of the current one.