No brand new symptoms for Covid variants - what to watch out for

New Covid variants don’t have different symptoms - what to watch out for (Photo: Shutterstock)

After several mutations of Covid-19 have been identified, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty has highlighted that the symptoms for these variants aren't any different to the original strain that emerged in February 2020.

If you have symptoms that include a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, then you should self-isolate at home and get a test as soon as possible.

Here are the six official symptoms to be aware of.

New persistent cough

One of the key coronavirus symptoms remains a new persistent cough.

The NHS defines this as coughing a lot for more than an hour or three hour time period, and with several coughing episodes in a day. The cough will feel much worse than a normal cough, and is likely to be more frequent throughout the day.

High temperature

A second key symptom of Covid-19 is a high temperature.

The NHS says you do not need a thermometer in order to check your temperature - your chest or back will feel hot to touch.

However, if you do use a thermometer, a reading above 38C is classed as a high temperature.

The body normally gets a high temperature when it is fighting off infection.

Loss of taste and smell

Loss of taste and smell is another key symptom of Covid-19.

In May 2020, Public Health England (PHE) aligned with the World Health Organisation (WHO) by adding anosmia (a loss of taste or smell) to the official list of Covid-19 symptoms.

Tiredness

Tiredness is third on the WHO’s list of most common symptoms. It isn’t listed as of the main symptoms by the NHS, but many people have reported feeling fatigued when they contract the virus.

Fatigue will leave people with less energy to undertake simple day to day tasks, and will require more rest than usual.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, also commonly known as red or pink eye, is the inflammation of the conjunctiva in the eye.

It is most commonly caused by an infection or allergy. However, recent reports have suggested a potential link between conjunctivitis and Covid-19.

Typical symptoms of conjunctivitis include bloodshot eyes, a burning or gritty feeling, discharge from one or both eyes, and itchiness and redness.

The WHO has added it to its list of less common symptoms.

There is no research evidence to suggest that conjunctivitis can cause Covid-19 itself, and there is no scientific evidence that suggests having conjunctivitis places you at a higher risk of developing Covid-19.

Rash

There have been some people who have had a rash on the skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes, after contracting Covid-19.

The symptoms feature on the WHO’s list of less common symptoms.

The hive-type rash that appears is known as urticaria and could indicate a Covid-19 infection. This rash may appear as raised bumps on the skin, which can come and go quickly over the course of a day.