More than HALF of people who test positive for Covid have no symptoms

More than HALF of people who test positive for Covid have no symptoms – but fatigue is still most common sign, official data shows

  • Office for National Statistics found 53 per cent suffered no symptoms
  • Fatigue, headache and cough were the most common warning signs, they said
  • NHS only lists a temperature, cough and loss of taste and smell as infection signs

More than half of people who test positive for Covid suffer no symptoms, official figures revealed today.

Office for National Statistics data showed 53 per cent of those diagnosed with the virus in March said they had no warning signs — including a fever or cough.

The survey suggested asymptomatic transmission is more common than previously feared. Experts have previously said it accounts for a third of all new infections.

But among those that did have symptoms, fatigue was the most commonly reported symptom, followed by a headache and a cough.

The NHS only lists a temperature, new continuous cough and loss of taste and smell as tell-tale signs of the virus.

Yet fewer than a fifth (18 per cent) of people reported a loss or taste of smell as their only symptom.

Health chiefs have been repeatedly criticised for not including the wide-range of side effects which have been linked to the disease.

Sarah Crofts, senior statistician for the ONS Covid-19 Infection Survey said: ‘Our analysis today highlights the range of symptoms people can experience with Covid-19.’

She said: ‘The classic symptoms of fatigue, headache and cough are still the most commonly reported by those infected with the virus, while only around 1 in 5 experience loss of taste or smell only.

‘Around half of those we tested did not report any symptoms even whilst having high levels of the virus present in their body. This underlines that people in the community may unknowingly have the virus and potentially transmit it to others.

‘It is vital we continue to measure infection levels in the population and collect information on symptoms so we can identify any changes that may otherwise go undetected.’

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