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Covid-19 Primary Care Resources


Symptoms and Signs



Emerging evidence on symptoms and signs of Covid-19, and formal case definition from PHE

This information is sourced from Pulse and the ZOE study:

These are the 5 most common symptoms in vaccinated adults and unvaccinated children:

  • Runny nose – 77%
  • Headache – 74%
  • Sneezing – 67%
  • Sore throat – 53%
  • Loss of smell or taste – 52%

Fever is more common in unvaccinated adults whilst cough is common in people who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated

This information on case definition and clinical features are both sourced from Public Health England (PHE):

Case definition:

new continuous cough

or high temperature ≥ 37.8°C

or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste (ageusia) or smell (anosmia)

Clinical features:

  • More common symptoms are fever, a new and continuous cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, anosmia (loss of smell) and ageusia (loss of taste)
  • Non-specific symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, myalgia, sore throat, headache, nasal congestion, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting
  • Atypical symptoms, such as delirium and reduced mobility, can present in older and immunocompromised people, often in the absence of a fever

Written by Dr Poppy Freeman