People with Covid-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.
The main symptoms of the virus are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include aches and pains, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, red eyes, diarrhoea or a skin rash.
If you have any of these symptoms, get a test to check if you have coronavirus and stay at home until you get your result.
Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
This is the official list of symptoms from Centres for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Reported but not official symptoms:
Skin rash and ‘Covid fingers and toes’
Using data from the Covid Symptom Study app from about 336,000 regular UK users, King’s College London researchers found that 8.8 per cent of people testing positive for the disease had experienced a skin rash as part of their symptoms.
This was compared with 5.4 per cent of people with a negative test result.
Similar results were seen in a further 8.2 per cent of users with a rash who did not have a coronavirus test, but still reported classic Covid-19 symptoms, such as cough, fever or anosmia.
The rashes associated with the virus fall into categories – hive-type rash (urticaria), prickly heat or chickenpox-type rash (erythemato-papular or erythemato-vesicular rash), and Covid fingers and toes (chilblains).
Confusion or delirium
Experts who run the Covid Symptom Tracker app found large proportions of elderly people get delirious when they’re ill.
Delirium is a state that comes on suddenly in which people get confused, struggle to think clearly and may hallucinate, become agitated or have mood swings.
Using self-reported symptoms from around 850 over-65s, the King’s researchers found people official considered “frail” were three times as likely to become delirious.
And of over-65s who ended up in hospital because of Covid-19, one in five (18.9 per cent) said delirium was their only symptom.
According to the Zoe Covid app researchers, around a quarter of participants experienced this symptom, with around three quarters noting it within the first week.
One-third of Covid-positive people in the Zoe Covid Symptoms study noted a hoarse voice.
Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app, and Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, tweeted about the new symptom on 13 January.
One in five people with Covid still present with less common symptoms that dont get on the official PHE list – such as skin rashes. Seeing increasing numbers of Covid tongues and strange mouth ulcers . If you have a strange symptom or even just headache and fatigue stay at home ! pic.twitter.com/V04CiZNilK
— Tim Spector (@timspector) January 13, 2021
He wrote: “One in five people with Covid still present with less common symptoms that don’t get on the official PHE list – such as skin rashes.
“Seeing increasing numbers of Covid tongues and strange mouth ulcers. If you have a strange symptom or even just a headache and fatigue, stay at home!”
He included a picture of a tongue with strange markings on it.
Loss of appetite
The Zoe Covid app study found nearly half (41 per cent) of people who tested positive reported have lost their appetite.
Experts say this symptom can accompany a feeling or a shortness of breath in Covid cases.
Seven in twenty 18 to 65-year-olds reported chest pain, the Zoe Covid app researchers found.
What should I do if I have symptoms?
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate immediately.
This is because you could pass the infection on to others, even if you don’t have symptoms.
You could be fined if you do not self-isolate following a notification by NHS Test and Trace[footnote 1].
You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate.
It may be difficult for some people to separate themselves from others in their household.
Not all these measures will be possible if you are living with children or have caring responsibilities but follow this guidance to the best of your ability in these circumstances.
When to seek emergency medical attention
Look for emergency warning signs. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face