UK sufferers report higher rates of fatigue, shortness of breath and diarrhoea than other countries
LONDON, July 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --
Brits are more likely to report suffering from a range of COVID-19 symptoms including shortness of breath, a loss of smell and taste, fatigue, and diarrhoea than those in other countries.
Three-quarters of people in the UK document fatigue as a symptom of the novel coronavirus compared to just over half globally, with Brits also reporting shortness of breath almost twice as much as people logging their symptoms in other countries.
The results from the Global COVID-19 Symptom Mapper – developed by self-care technology platform Your.MD and part of NHSX's Project OASIS – call into question current UK Department of Health and Social Care guidelines and show notable disparities between the COVID-19 symptoms of Brits compared to others around the world.
While nearly half of those in the UK (45%) report experiencing shortness of breath as a symptom of COVID-19, just over a third (38%) of respondents in the Philippines, a fifth (20%) of people in India and a sixth (16%) of people living in Mexico experienced the symptom.
Over three-quarters (77%) of UK respondents document fatigue, compared to less than half of those in India (44%) and the Philippines (46%).
Brits also reported having diarrhoea almost 2.5 times more frequently than respondents from India, and a loss of taste and smell twice as frequently.
Your.MD developed the unique data collection project to map COVID-19 symptoms worldwide and compare them against global norms. Your.MD's Mapper is 1 of the apps involved with Project OASIS - a data collection initiative that helps the NHS respond to the pandemic.
The Mapper, which has had more than 120,000 respondents so far from 181 countries worldwide, works by pulling together data from people experiencing COVID-19 type symptoms to allow them to compare themselves, their illness and their symptoms with others of the same gender or in a similar area or age bracket.
Your.MD's Chief Medical Officer and past chair of the Royal College of GPs, Professor Maureen Baker, said of the findings:
"The data from Your.MD's COVID-19 Symptom Mapper throws into question the UK government's current advice on the main coronavirus symptoms - if people are reporting fatigue, shortness of breath and diarrhoea as other common symptoms these should also be something they are encouraged to look out for.
"It also really highlights that people are reporting big differences and variations in symptoms around the world.
"The mapper tracks symptoms globally, giving a unique perspective on the virus and allowing comparisons to be made between the UK and other countries.
"It is vitally important for us to continue collecting data on symptoms of COVID-19, particularly as there are so many unknowns about the clinical course of this illness."
The global sample was taken from around 57,000 respondents who either tested positive as having COVID-19 with at least 1 symptom, or self-assessed symptoms and experienced fatigue, fever, cough and anosmia (loss of smell or taste) – the main symptoms of the virus as currently advised by the UK government.
The data reveals that - globally - fatigue (52%), a sore throat (47%) and headaches (47%) are the 3 most common symptoms. Of the global sample analysed by Your.MD, nearly half (47%) of respondents reported a headache, a sore throat or both, and over half (52%) said that they have experienced fatigue.
Your.MD have been publishing their latest mapper results on a bi-weekly basis - the findings have not yet been peer-reviewed.
Notes to editors
Your.MD is a digital health platform committed to helping everyone in the world find their health through informed self-care, bringing together the tools you need to look after your all-round health. Your.MD are the makers of Healthily, a free app that helps you assess, learn, track, discuss, discover and manage your way to better health.
The only self-care app registered as a Class 1 Medical Device, Healthily aims to help a billion people find their health through informed self-care.