When COVID-19 first emerged, infections followed a consistent pattern with three main symptoms: a continuous cough, fever and a loss in sense of taste or smell. The infection has now morphed into different symptoms, as new variants of the virus have emerged, and as most people are fully vaccinated.
The 9 additional symptoms are feeling short of breath, feeling tired or exhausted, having body aches, a headache, or a sore throat, having a blocked or runny nose, a loss of appetite, or diarrhoea, or vomiting or feeling sick. These are general symptoms that can all indicate the flu or glandular fever, or each one can signify other common ailments like a cold or tonsilitis or food poisoning.
The UK government’s current strategy is that we learn to live with COVID, rather than testing and isolating. We previously relied on negative tests to release us from isolation if consistently negative. Free tests have come to an end for most in the UK, except the most vulnerable and frontline health workers. Lateral flow tests and PCR tests will no longer be available, and it is no longer a legal requirement to isolate if you have COVID-19. While the disease has become milder for most, it can still cause severe disease in the most vulnerable, such as the elderly or those with weakened immune conditions. You may have family members who fall into this category. So it’s good to be aware of possible COVID symptoms so you can stay at home, get yourself better, and protect others around you.
If you have any of these COVID-19 symptoms, and either a high temperature or you just don’t feel well enough to go to work or school, keep yourself to yourself at home. Once you're feeling better and no longer have a fever, diarrhoea or vomiting, it might be safe to head out. The government previously said that isolation should last for at least 5 days.