Scientists explain 'surprising' early coronavirus signs that could appear when you’re most infectious

2 October 2020, 11:02 | Updated: 2 October 2020, 11:12

There are common symptoms in the early signs of Covid
There are common symptoms in the early signs of Covid. Picture: Getty Images/PA Images

A study has revealed the warning signs of Covid that could come before a cough.

New research has revealed the warning signs of coronavirus which could appear before the common symptoms.

Most sufferers of Covid-19 will get a dry, persistent cough and maybe lose their sense of taste and smell.

But scientists at King's College London have said their 'surprising' results have found that many patients will first suffer with a headache and fatigue.

Using information gathered from the Covid Symptom Tracking App, experts found that the most common early symptoms were a headache, which was found in 82%, and fatigue which affected 72%.

In fact, only 9% of adults aged between 18 and 65 say they didn't experience headache or fatigue in the first week of contracting coronavirus.

Those who are suffering with Covid symptoms can get a test
Those who are suffering with Covid symptoms can get a test. Picture: PA Images

This is the period of time sufferers are at their most infectious.

However, these symptoms are also very common in many other conditions including flu and the common cold.

The scientists explained: "Of course, headache and fatigue commonly occur in other conditions which is why they don’t trigger a test on their own.

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"In fact, only one percent of people who reported fatigue and/or headache on our app ended up testing positive for COVID."

They added: "So while headache and fatigue are commonly found in people who have Covid - alongside other symptoms - having either or both of those symptoms alone is unlikely to be indicative of Covid."

A high fever, new cough, and a change to your sense of smell or taste are the three most common coronavirus symptoms, according to the NHS.

In the UK, the government are urging Brits to get tested for the infection if they develop any of these symptoms.

However, different symptoms are more common in different age groups.

For example, loss of smell is experienced mostly by adults, while only 21% of children and 26% of elderly sufferers get this symptom.

This research also linked skin rashes with Covid, finding that 9% of those who tested positive had rashes on their body or fingers or toes.

These rashes are more likely to appear on children than they are on adults.

Patients have also reported a sore throat, diarrhoea, pains, runny nose and shortness of breath to be common symptoms.

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