It’s more than a cough: Covid-19 lurks behind other symptoms

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It’s more than a cough: Covid-19 lurks behind other symptoms

Up to a quarter of infected people are being overlooked thanks to atypical symptoms, say experts

Edward Malnick

Coronavirus may be going undetected in one in four people with symptoms because they exhibit signs of the virus other than a persistent cough or high temperature.

Scientists in the UK’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) have expressed concern that individuals with only lesser-known symptoms, such as a loss of taste or smell, may not be self-isolating and receiving tests for the disease.

Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, who sits on Nervtag, said it was important that patients and doctors had a “wider perception” of how coronavirus can present itself. He also pointed out that the swab test typically used to establish whether a patient has Covid-19 may be less likely to detect infection in cases where the disease is primarily causing symptoms elsewhere in the body, such as the digestive system, rather than the nose and lungs...

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