What are the symptoms of covid?

Many covid ‘symptoms’ are not predictive of a positive test result

A diagnosis is a compilation of clinical symptoms and testing adds further information to help doctors decide on the likelihood of a particular diagnosis. Because a covid case has been defined not by symptoms but by a positive test result this logic has been reversed. The consequence of this was an ever growing list of symptoms associated with the disease and even the concept of an ‘asymptomatic case’.

After 20 months of covid it is quite incredible that the symptoms associated with the disease have not been clearly defined. It is possible to figure out which symptoms are associated with a positive test and that has incidentally been reported in a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine studying vaccine efficacy among healthcare workers in the first five months of 2021. Using data from this paper symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain can be shown to have no bearing on whether someone will test positive for covid.

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