COVID-19: People infected with UK coronavirus variant less likely to report losing taste and smell, data suggests
People infected with the new coronavirus variant discovered in the UK are less likely to report losing taste and smell as part of their symptoms, a study has found.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the condition was “significantly less common” in patients who tested positive for the new variant compared to those with other variants of COVID-19.
But other symptoms such as a a cough, sore throat, fatigue, muscle ache and fever were “more common” among those who caught the new variant, it added.
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The organisation, which has been running a months-long mass survey into coronavirus in the UK, added there was “no evidence” of any difference in symptoms reported to do with shortness of breath or headaches.
It also found people with the new variant were more likely to report having symptoms.
The variant was discovered in the UK in mid-December, prompting dozens of countries to implement travel restrictions on anyone arriving from the UK.
At the end of last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted there is “some evidence that the new variant may be associated with a higher degree of mortality“.
But he added all current evidence shows that three vaccines approved for use in the UK “remain effective against the old coronavirus variant and this new one”.
In its latest infection survey, the ONS confirmed the amount of physical contact people reported having decreased in January – as the new national lockdown came into effect.
With record high cases and deaths reported recently, and the UK surpassing 100,000 coronavirus-related fatalities according to the government’s estimate yesterday, the ONS said there was a growth in infections among people who work jobs in patient-facing roles.
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