Having a MILD fever is a sign of Covid in at-risk groups, new data reveals

HAVING a mild fever is a sign of Covid in at-risk groups, new data has revealed.

Experts want the national guidance updated to tell anyone over 65 to get checked if they hit a temperature 37.4C.

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OAPs suffering with the bug might get missed, researchers at King’s College London found.

This is due to the fact they often don’t have a high enough fever to get tested under NHS guidelines – a temperature minimum of 37.8C.

Scientists found older people with coronavirus are less likely to have a fever getting up to the official threshold.

And the chance of it hitting that high a temperature drops by 1 per cent with every extra year of age, they said.

The average temperature for the human body is between 36.5-37.6C, varying with the time of day and how it is taken.

Lead researcher Dr Claire Steves from King’s College London said: “Fever is one of the key symptoms of Covid-19, but our results show that cases in older people may be missed because the current temperature threshold is too high for older people.

“Recognising 37.4 as the fever threshold for people over 65 could make a big difference to diagnosing the disease in a timely way, stopping its spread, and getting the right treatment.”


The team looked at data from 1,089 adult twins without Covid, 1,284 people hospitalised with the disease and 3,967 users of the ZOE Covid Symptom Study app with the bug.

Fever is a common symptom of Covid, with more than two thirds of people infected suffering with a raised temperature.

The other two main symptoms listed in the NHS guidelines are a new persistent cough and a loss of taste or sense of smell.

However the new Kent strain can include main symptoms of muscle aches and a sore throat, with less reports of a loss of taste or smell and a fever. 

Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday revealed that restrictions would continue until March.

The PM told the House of Commons a sharp drop in Covid cases has convinced ministers tighter measures are working and a roadmap for exiting lockdown will be laid out from February 22.

Some schools will start to re-open from March 8 with other social restrictions being eased after that, Mr Johnson said.


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