Boris Johnson: COVID cases appear to be ‘flattening’ in UK
Covid has killed more than 100,000 people in the UK, and new daily deaths are still remarkably high. A group of doctors have now urged England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, to consider ‘mild’ symptoms as possible signs of coronavirus infection.
Thousands of people are still testing positive for coronavirus every day in the UK.
The country has been in a third national lockdown for almost a month, with no end in sight, just yet.
Covid vaccines have been delivered at a staggering rate in the UK, but the emergence of new virus strains has continued to plague the public.
A group of doctors have now urged Whitty and Public Health England’s Dr Susan Hopkins to consider extending the NHS’s list of possible Covid symptoms.
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At the moment, there are only three possible coronavirus symptoms listed on the NHS website.
If you develop a fever, a new cough, or a loss of smell or taste, you should consider getting tested for Covid, it said.
But, 140 general practitioners have urged the UK’s health authorities to extend that list in line with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Expanding the list of possible Covid symptoms would also increase the scope for accessing coronavirus tests.
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Runny or blocked noses, sore throats, hoarseness, fatigue, headaches, vomiting and diarrhoea should all be considered coronavirus symptoms, they wrote in an open letter.
Muscle pain, as well as general cold symptoms, should also be listed as signs of Covid, they added.
“As GPs, we regularly review patients with mild symptoms—for example, a runny or blocked nose, sore throat, hoarseness, myalgia, fatigue, and headache—who subsequently turn out to be COVID-19 positive,” they wrote, in The BMJ.
“These patients have frequently not even considered that they may have COVID-19 and have not self-isolated in the crucial early days when they were most infectious.
“The national publicity campaign focuses on cough, high temperature, and loss of smell or taste as symptoms to be aware of — only patients with these symptoms are able to access a COVID-19 test online through the NHS test booking site.
“GPs have to advise patients to be dishonest to get a COVID-19 test.”
Ignoring calls to extend the symptoms list “will be at our peril”, the doctors added.
People with mild symptoms shouldn’t be going out into the public, and should self-isolate, they claimed.
More than 10 million people have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine in the UK.
There are currently two types of vaccine in circulation; the Pfizer/BioNTech and the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.
The UK has already approved the US-based Moderna vaccine for distribution, but stock won’t arrive until later in the spring.
There are two other vaccines in the latter stages of clinical trials, and could be approved shortly.
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