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People are disregarding four symptoms which could be a sign of Covid-19

Birmingham Mail logo Birmingham Mail 02/02/2021 James Rodger

GPs are warning that people should be treating common symptoms easily disregarded as Covid-19 signs.

Doctors are telling patients in the UK to have classic signs of a cold - such as a runny or blocked nose, a sore throat, or a headache - to test for Covid-19.

An open letter has been penned to Chris Whitty, England's Chief Medical Officer, from over 100 GPs in London.

The medics - based in the capital - say people with these symptoms must get checked, or risk spreading the deadly bug.

Dr Alex Sohal, a GP in Tower Hamlets, east London, said : "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.

a close up of a person wearing a white shirt: People with hay fever, asthma and grass pollen allergies are set to suffer this week © PA People with hay fever, asthma and grass pollen allergies are set to suffer this week

“It is vital to now change the UK Covid-19 case definition and test criteria to include coryza [runny nose] and cold, making them consistent with WHO.

“Tell the public, especially those who have to go out to work and their employers, that even those with mild symptoms (not only a cough, high temperature, and a loss of smell or taste) should not go out, prioritising the first five days of self-isolation when they are most likely to be infectious.

“This will help to get—and keep—us out of this indefinite lockdown, as Covid-19 becomes increasingly endemic globally. Ignoring this will be at our peril.”

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