Double-jabbed Brits must still watch out for 21 Covid symptoms, expert warns

PEOPLE who have had two coronavirus vaccines should still watch out for 21 virus symptoms, an expert has warned.

Throughout the pandemic, the NHS has highlighted three main symptoms of Covid – a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste or smell.

Many people who have contracted Covid have however said they have suffered from other issues such as skin rashes and diarrhoea.

In order to drive down infections, millions have people have now received two doses of a Covid jab – but people can still get the virus and Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist of the ZOE Covid Study app, said even if you have been double vaccinated, you still need to be cautious.

New analysis from the ZOE app found that just 2.4 per cent of fully jabbed participants who were told to self-isolate by contact tracing apps in England and Scotland actually went on to test positive for the virus.

It did however find that in those same pinged groups, those who had one or more of the 21 symptoms outlined by the experts were 11.7 times more likely to test positive.

These symptoms include ones not listed by the NHS, such as abdominal pains and headaches.

While no jab is 100 per cent effective, the vaccines have been proven to reduce severe cases and the need for hospitalisation.

Earlier this week it was revealed that people who have two jabs won't need to self-isolate if they come into contact with someone who has Covid.

Adults and children will be free to return to work, attend school, and meet friends and family as the protection from vaccines replaces the need for contact isolation.

Instead, people are advised to get a free PCR test as soon as possible, but this will not be a legal requirement.

Prof Spector said that you should still continue to watch out for possible signs of the virus – even if you are double jabbed.

He said: "On Thursday the Health Secretary announced fully jabbed COVID contacts won’t need to self-isolate from 16 August.

"While I welcome efforts to address the ‘pingdemic’, cases are still very high and our research shows that whatever your vaccination status, if you have one of possible 20+ Covid symptoms recognised by ZOE, not just the classic three, you should be cautious, self isolate and get a test.

"Which makes it even more important for the government to expand the symptom list to help people understand all the symptoms of Covid-19."

Prof Spectors comments come after a new report revealed that more than one in 10 patients in the UK were infected with Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic while being treated in hospital in for another reason.

The 21 Covid symptoms you need to know

Experts at the ZOE Symptom Study app have revealed the 21 symptoms you need to look out for

  1. High temperature
  2. Chills or shivers
  3. Persistent cough
  4. Loss or change of smell
  5. Loss or change of taste
  6. Headache
  7. Unusual tiredness
  8. Sore throat
  9. Sudden confusion
  10. Skin rash
  11. Changes in mouth or tongue
  12. Red and sore fingers or toes
  13. Shortness of breath
  14. Chest pains
  15. Muscle pains
  16. Hoarse voice
  17. Diarrhoea
  18. Skipped meals
  19. Abdominal pains
  20. Runny nose
  21. Sneezing

At the start of the pandemic, testing wasn't widely available and there were just a few symptoms associated with Covid – meaning that many patients who were hospitilsed with the virus didn't know they were carrying it.

Prof Semple told BBC Breakfast that at the start of the outbreak there were issues with testing – meaning that many cases were left undiscovered.

He explained: "We know that one in 20 patients were admitted to hospital with abdominal problems, vomiting and diarrhoea.

"So they wouldn't have met the classic Covid definition so they would have been mis-allocated as non-Covid but then would have been admitted and potentially spread it."

This means that many patients had been arriving at hospital and had been placed on wards where they may have infected other patients.

If more symptoms were recognised then this may have been avoided, although at the time, little was known about the virus.

Prof Semple said that there had also been limited access to PPE and training in how to properly use that across the NHS.

"Matters improved over time and of course the biggest changes is vaccines which reduced onward transition.

"These gradual changes, now mean if you look at hospitals today, it's two to five per cent that are hospital acquired", he added.


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