The NHS has renewed its News page. Nine officially added Symptoms About the virus and free testing for most of the population.
The healthcare provider has previously listed only three official symptoms; High fever, new continuous coughing, and loss or change in smell or taste.
There are now a total of 12, adding to the NHS shortness of puff, handling more tired than usual, body aches, loss of need, diarrhea, and a feeling of sickness or illness.
The change was followed by mixed reactions from doctors and public health experts who campaigned to expand the list of symptoms during the pandemic.
Today, questions arose as to why it took so long for the symptoms to add up.
Professor Tim Spector, a leading scientist in the Zoe Covid study app, lobbied the government to expand the official list of Covid symptoms.
“Everyone at ZOE is pleased to see that the NHS has finally updated the official list of Covid-19 symptoms after two very long years of lobbying and contributions,” said Professor Spector.
“Adding more symptoms is a step in the right direction, and it can help reduce infections as we move forward.” However, while this is good news, I want to change the sequence of symptoms as the NHS list focuses too much on symptoms such as fever and anosmia, which we know are much less common after the advent of the Omicron variant.
“According to a ZOE Covid study, the top five symptoms observed by contributors with a positive Covid test are; Nasal discharge (83 percent), fatigue (71 percent), sore throat (69 percent), headache (69 percent), and wheezing (68 percent).
Professor Azim Majidi, head of primary health and public health at Imperial College London, welcomed the government’s updated list but was “surprised” that it came two years later.
“For a long time, we have seen patients with colitis with different symptoms than on the government website. I am surprised that it brought so long to formally,” Professor Majid said. Independent.
“It’s a little weird that the changes happen after free side tests are available to most people because if they had detected these symptoms earlier when free tests were available, they would have been empowered.
“It’s a strange time to make that change. “The government has not published its reasoning, but doctors have been asking for it for a year now – strangely, this happens when people can no longer undergo a free examination,” he added.
Professor Ain Buchan, Head of Public Health and Clinical Informatics at the University of Liverpool, told the Independent That restriction around Covid testing have led to restrictions on the official list of symptoms.
“The most important question is, what actions do you want people to take based on these symptoms?” “If this action is to go and do a PCR test, then these tests are limited, so I think the list was limited, so these tests were not exhausted,” said Professor Buken.
“Overall testing capacity was needed to handle the heavier Covid subsection.”
Both the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had long lists of symptoms. Still, there were only three symptoms in the UK during the nearly two years of the pandemic.
News of the changes comes just days after a free universal test on Covid ended in England on April 1 as part of a government plan to live with the virus.
Professor Spector has previously criticized the government’s “refusal” to recognize “a wider range of symptoms,” suggesting that not formally acknowledging more symptoms could increase transmission frequency.
“We have always been told that the barrier to expanding the list was that adding more symptoms could exceed the testing possibilities, so it makes sense that once free testing is stopped, the list is updated,” said Professor Spector.
Understandably, the government’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris White, would need to sign an extended list of symptoms.
The changes come just weeks after the government lifted all restrictions on Covid-19, requiring the public to be no longer isolated when they show symptoms.
However, the NHS website says that people experiencing an extended list of symptoms should “try to stay home and avoid touch with other people.”
They should also take “extra care” to avoid contact with more vulnerable people.
The UK Health Insurance Agency and the NHS have been contacted for comment.
NHS Adds 9 ‘New’ Official Covid Symptoms – But Experts Ask Why It Took Two Years