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Coronavirus

The most common Covid symptom revealed - and it's NOT a dry cough

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"People testing positive are generally more likely to have symptoms of loss of taste or smell, and fever." It has been clear to scientists for some time that children and adults suffer from the coronavirus in different ways.


Among over 35-year-olds, between 20 and 40 % of sufferers had anosmia, compared to around 15 to 25 % of that group having a fever and 13 to 18 % having a cough.

Fever and new persistent coughing were thought to be the main symptoms when the pandemic first took hold (Picture: Shutterstock/DimaBerlin)

"This suggests cough is a less specific symptom to Covid-19 in school-aged children.

In kids in school year 12 and over, the rate has held steady with 35 to 45 per cent of this age group experience a loss of taste and smell after testing positive.

The report stats: "The positivity rate for school-aged children with cough symptoms has remained low over the period (currently around 5 per cent) whilst the rate for others aged under 35 years and those 35 years and over has steadily increased to around 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

According to the latest data compiled by researchers at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), anosmia is now the symptom most often reported by people suffering with the virus.

The dry cough is not the most commonly reported Covid-19 symptom in the UK (Image: Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the data also reveals that school-aged children are the least likely to suffer a cough.

The difference was even starker among younger people, with up to 60 % of those under 35 reporting the symptom as opposed to up to 25 % having a fever and less than 10 % reporting a cough.

Upset stomachs, fatigue and brain fog were also found to be commonly occurring symptoms.

The most common symptom reported by coronavirus patients is no longer a dry cough, new data suggests.

The researchers looked at symptoms among those who tested positive for Covid-19 (Image: Getty Images)

Data collected by King's College's symptom tracker app suggests that 52 % of school-aged children who tested positive did not log classic adult symptoms.

The overall picture painted by the data is that from August 15 to October 26 the number of people testing positive for Covid with symptoms of loss of taste or smell increased the most in all age groups.

A third of children who tested positive never logged any of the 20 symptoms listed in the app, meaning they are asymptomatic.

The middle column shows a fever, less people in the younger age groups have reported this symptom- while there has been an increase in the over 35s.

As the pandemic took hold, people were urged to look out for a fever and new persistent coughing, either in regular fits lasting more than an hour or three or more episodes within 24 hours.