Doctors have warned Brits that a number of patients who tested positive for Covid-19 first experienced common cold symptoms.
They've urged officials to cite a runny nose and other cold signs as official signs of Covid, calling it "vital" to do so.
GP's across the country are reporting that patients who have experienced sore throats, runny or blocked nose and headaches are regularly testing positive for the killer virus.
As a result, a whopping 140 east London doctors, GPs and health care professionals have signed an open letter, addressed to the UK Government's chief medical officer, Christopher Whitty.
The letter strongly suggests that these very common ailments should be added to the official possible symptoms list.
They warn that "ignoring this will be at our peril" as those with a mild infection are unwittingly spreading the disease, thinking it is just a winter bug.
Dr Alex Sohal, a GP in Tower Hamlets, east London, wrote: "These patients have frequently not even considered that they may have Covid-19 and have not self-isolated in the crucial early days when they were most infectious.
"The national publicity campaign focuses on cough, high temperature, and loss of smell or taste as symptoms to be aware of – only patients with these symptoms are able to access a Covid-19 test online through the NHS test booking site."
Shockingly, it detailed: "GPs have to advise patients to be dishonest to get a Covid-19 test.
"It is vital to now change the UK Covid-19 case definition and test criteria to include coryza [runny nose] and cold, making them consistent with WHO."
She continued: "Tell the public, especially those who have to go out to work and their employers, that even those with mild symptoms (not only a cough, high temperature, and a loss of smell or taste) should not go out, prioritising the first five days of self-isolation when they are most likely to be infectious.
"This will help to get – and keep – us out of this indefinite lockdown, as Covid-19 becomes increasingly endemic globally.
"Ignoring this will be at our peril."
She added that the World Health Organisation’s definition includes other symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhoea.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman was reported to have said the list of symptoms was under constant review.
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