Official list of Covid symptoms is 'dodgy and inadequate': Top scientific ...

The official list of COVID symptoms has been branded 'dodgy' and 'inadequate' by a top scientific advisor.

Dr Nick Summerton called for tiredness, breathlessness and loss of appetite to be included in key symptom list.

Currently the NHS only notes a persistent cough and fever as the main signs, and says these are the only symptoms to warrant calling 111.

But the World Health Organization lists 13 symptoms, and the CDC bumped its up to nine last week.

Both acknowledge muscle pain, loss of taste and smell and headaches as typical signs of SARS-CoV-2 infection. 

By leaving out symptoms, Dr Summerton said the virus could fuel further spread of the virus in Britain.

There are now more than 180,000 cases in the UK - but there are potentially millions that have gone unnoticed. Deaths are nearing 29,000. 

Currently the NHS only notes a persistent cough and fever as the main signs, and says these are the only symptoms to warrant calling 111

Currently the NHS only notes a persistent cough and fever as the main signs, and says these are the only symptoms to warrant calling 111

Dr Nick Summerton called for tiredness, breathlessness and loss of appetite to be included in key symptom list. He said without doing so, the UK could not get a grip on the epidemic. Pictured: A soldier doing swabs at a drive-in testing centre at Glasgow Airport

Dr Nick Summerton called for tiredness, breathlessness and loss of appetite to be included in key symptom list. He said without doing so, the UK could not get a grip on the epidemic. Pictured: A soldier doing swabs at a drive-in testing centre at Glasgow Airport

Dr Summerton, leading primary care diagnostics expert with a doctorate from Oxford University, has acted as an adviser to the Government during the pandemic.

He said he has urgently called for urgent research to be conducted to detect the most common symptoms of the virus.

'These two basic symptoms aren't good enough,' Dr Summerton told The Sunday Times. 

'We need to consider what the broader group of symptoms are and the combinations of symptoms patients have. Time is not on our side and we must get this right.

WHAT SYMPTOMS DO HEALTH OFFICIALS LIST? CDC'S PREVIOUS AND CURRENT LIST OF CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS 

NHS 

The NHS lists the following as the main symptoms of the coronavirus:

 a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)   

It also says to use the NHS 111 service if you have those symptoms

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

Until recently, the CDC only listed three symptoms of coronavirus on its website:

Fever  Cough Shortness of breath 

Last week, the CDC expanded its list to include the following signs:

Chills Repeated shaking with chills Muscle pain Headache Sore throat New loss of taste or smell 

The World Health Organization

Most common symptoms:

Fever   Dry cough Tiredness

Less common symptoms:

Aches and pains Sore throat Diarrhoea Conjunctivitis Headache  Loss of taste or smell A rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toe 

Serious symptoms:

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath Chest pain or pressure Loss of speech or movement 

'We've got people who are wandering around with the coronavirus and that's the concern. Those missed cases will just spread around the community. That's why I believe these two symptoms are a dodgy foundation.

'If we haven't got this bit right, we're never going to get a grip on the epidemic. If you don't get the case definition right, you don't know who you're fighting.'

Dr Summerton claims to have broached the subject with government officials on multiple occasions, but his worries had fallen on deaf ears.

Three times this has been with Professor John Newton, the UK's national testing co-ordinator from Public Health England.  But he had not received any response.

The public health physician said the public may be reassured they don't have the coronavirus if they look at the NHS website, therefore unwillingly go around spreading it to others. 

Dr Summerton fears the UK will fail to get 'a grip on the epidemic' by ignoring the presence of symptoms which may have previously been seen as uncommon.

Research has pointed towards an array of symptoms SARS-CoV-2 can cause beyond the typical cough and fever. Sometimes these depend on the severity of disease.

More than a month ago, on March 31, King's College London researchers said almost 60 per cent of coronavirus patients experienced a loss of taste and smell. 

They collected data of more than 1.5million Britons who downloaded the Covid Symptom Tracker App. 

Some 59 per cent of those who reported their health by March 29 and tested positive reported a loss of smell and taste, compared with 18 per cent of those who tested negative.

But the Government discarded loss of smell and taste - which Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he suffered with during his illness - as 'anecdotal evidence' on April 3.

Loss of taste or smell as well as chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache and sore throat were recently added to CDC's list of symptoms.

Health officials made the changes after pressure from physicians. It also conducted its own research on thousands of patients in the US - where cases have reached 1.1million and deaths 67,000.

Data has highlighted the main symptoms in hospitalised American adults - including muscle pain in 61 per cent of cases and a headache in 58 per cent.

But its Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Children report on April 6, formed part of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, showed symptoms are less obvious in children. 

Compared with adults, children are less likely to have the tell-tale symptoms and may not show any signs of the virus at all. Pictured: Around 73 per cent of US children have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, compared with 93 per cent of adults

Compared with adults, children are less likely to have the tell-tale symptoms and may not show any signs of the virus at all. Pictured: Around 73 per cent of US children have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, compared with 93 per cent of adults

Headaches, listed by the CDC, were flagged as a potential sign by Chinese researchers in mid-April after a study of 214 patients.  

Neurologic symptoms were seen in 36.4 per cent of patients and were more

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