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Data Shows Runny Nose is Now the Most Common Symptom of Covid

Runny Nose Emerges as Most Common Symptom of Covid, data shows

Health experts have identified a significant shift in the most common symptom of Covid, with a runny nose now affecting more than 80% of infected individuals, according to recent data. This finding marks a departure from the original Covid symptoms list that highlighted the loss of taste or smell as a primary indicator. Only a fifth of sufferers, however, experience this particular symptom. In contrast, the occurrence of a fever, which is often associated with Covid, is found in only a quarter of people infected with the virus.

ONS data on Covid infections today shows more than 80% of Brits suffer a runny nose when infected. A loss of taste or smell – one of the original tell-tale signs of the virus – accounts for just under a fifth of all symptoms logged.

Evolution in Covid Symptoms

Analysis of data, gathered from self-reported information from nearly 430,000 individuals, indicates that Covid symptoms have evolved over time, becoming less severe. As a result, the virus is now being treated with a similar approach used for the flu, as vaccines and previous waves have led to a higher level of population immunity. Health experts predict that Covid is moving towards becoming a seasonal illness and may eventually be viewed as just another cause of the common cold. It is important to note that other coronaviruses prevalent in humans typically cause milder symptoms.

Despite the milder symptoms, health officials advise individuals with respiratory symptoms to avoid close contact with vulnerable groups, including the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with underlying health conditions. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data revealing that almost three-quarters of Covid-positive patients experience a cough, making it the second most commonly reported symptom. Coughs were one of the three primary signs of Covid listed by health authorities in the early stages of the pandemic. Tiredness, muscle aches, sore throat, and headaches were also frequently reported symptoms.

The Expanding List of Symptoms

Previously, UK officials recognized three primary symptoms of the virus, while other countries and health organizations included up to 14 symptoms. However, as new variants of the virus emerged, the official symptom list was expanded to include signs such as anxiety, memory loss, and abdominal pain.

In addition to the shift in common symptoms, self-reported data from the ONS suggests that nearly 2 million Brits are battling long Covid, a condition characterized by persistent symptoms that last for more than four weeks after the initial illness has cleared. Interestingly, recent data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reveals a slight decrease in the number of positive Covid cases, while the hospitalization rate saw a slight increase.

According to the data released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), coughing (73.8%) and tiredness(65.2%) were among the other key symptoms reported. Muscle aches, sore throat, and headaches were three other frequently logged signs. Loss of taste and smell accounted for 18.8% and 18.4% of cases, respectively.

It is worth noting that these statistics may not fully represent the actual impact of the virus since the prevalence of Covid is no longer tracked in the same way as during the height of the pandemic. Moreover, testing among the general population has significantly reduced, aligning with the UK government’s efforts to return to pre-Covid normalcy.

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