In the U.K., a group of epidemiologists has identified a set of seven symptoms, when seen together, often predicts a novel coronavirus infection. The study was published on Tuesday in a peer-reviewed journal called PLOS Medicine. It reports that the symptoms of loss or change of smell, loss or change of taste, fever, new persistent cough, chills, appetite loss, and muscle aches may be used to maximize detection of COVID-19.
The study points out that not all of those symptoms listed are used in the U.K. to determine the need for a PCR test. In Canada, health care professionals decide who should be tested based on their symptoms (mild or severe), and medical conditions or risk of exposure to the virus.
The authors wrote “In order to improve PCR positivity detection rates and consequently improve control of viral transmission via isolation measures, we would propose to extend the list of symptoms used for triage to all seven symptoms we identified,” Being able to quickly detect the coronavirus infection in a community is key to controlling transmission according to the study.
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