University College London researchers studied data collected by U.K. statistics body, the Office for National Statistics, which has been regularly collecting coronavirus testing data from thousands of British households during the pandemic as part of its “infection survey.” The survey tests households whether they have symptom or not.
The study, which was peer reviewed, looked at 36,061 individuals who took a coronavirus test as part of the infection survey between 26 April and 27 June 2020. It found that 86.1% of those who tested positive for the virus did not report “core” symptoms associated with the virus (a cough, fever or a loss of taste and/or smell) on the day they took a test. Out of the 115 people that received a positive coronavirus result, only 16 reported the main symptoms that we associate with the virus.
Researchers Irene Petersen and Andrew Phillips concluded in the study, published in the Clinical Epidemiology journal on Thursday, that “Covid-19 symptoms are poor markers of SARS-CoV-2 (the new coronavirus).”