Children may show different symptoms of Covid-19 than adults, one expert has said.
Professor Tim Spector, who is leading the Covid Symptom Study app research, said there could be different symptoms according to different age brackets.
Fatigue, headache and fever appear to be the most common symptoms among children, according to research reported in the Guardian. The NHS website lists the main symptoms of coronavirus as: a high temperature, a new continuous cough, a loss or change to a person’s sense of smell or taste.
Experts analysed symptoms from 198 children who tested positive for the disease out of 16,000 tested. A third of the children showed no symptoms.
More than half (55%) of the children who tested positive had fatigue, 54% had a headache and almost half had a fever.
Over a third (38%) had a sore throat, 35% skipped meals while 15% had an unusual skin rash and 13% had diarrhoea.
Prof Spector said that of children who tested positive and had symptoms, around half did not have any of the three main signs listed by the NHS.
“We need to start telling people what are the key symptoms at different ages rather than this blanket obsession with fever, cough and lack of smell,” he told the newspaper. “If you followed the government’s advice you’d be missing half of the (symptomatic) infections.
“What we want to do here is not push (children) to have tests, but just keep them away from school (if they show symptoms).”
Researchers behind the app have previously argued that rashes should be considered as a fourth key sign of Covid-19. “It is certainly as important as the other features, and in children it is much more important,” Prof Spector added.
“One in six children will have (a rash) and many times it will be the only sign, and you don’t get a funny rash with most coughs, colds (or) flus.”