Last updated 20th November 2021

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The Covid Zoe Symptom study in the UK has been researching the most common symptoms of COVID-19.

The increase in vaccination and the Delta variant have lead to a change in the most common symptoms of Covid-19. Many governments, including the UK government, have not yet updated their advice to citizens and are still adivisng only of the classic symptoms.

In November 2021 the most common symptoms are those shown in the graphic below.

The current list for important symptoms to look for in COVID-19 infection are shown below. The percentage of infected people experiencing the top5 symptoms are shown in brackets.:-

  • Runny Nose (74%)
  • Headache (73%)
  • Sneezing (60%)
  • Persistent Cough (49%)
  • Sore Throat (48%)
  • Fever
  • Loss of taste and smell

If you’ve been vaccinated and start sneezing or coughing a lot without an explanation, you should stay home and get a COVID test.

Another key symptom of COVID infection is loss of smell or taste, so if you notice you’re experiencing this be sure to take a lateral flow or PCR test.

Classic COVID-19 Symptoms

The classic symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are considered to be:-
  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Other COVID-19 Symptoms

Other symptoms of COVID-19 are being researched in the ZOE COVID Symptom study. More information about this study can be found at

Covid Symptom Study


ZOE COVID Symptom Study app contributors are offered a test if they report any of the potential symptoms of the disease, including:

  • Severe fatigue
  • Headache
  • Change or loss of smell (anosmia) or taste
  • Persistent cough
  • High temperature/fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Unusual pains in the chest, abdomen or muscles
  • Sore throat or a hoarse voice
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Sudden confusion (delirium)
  • Skipping meals
  • Skin rash
  • Changes to the tongue or mouth ulcers.

Asthma and COVID-19


If you have allergies or asthma how do you know if your symptoms are normal or if you might have COVID-19. The table below shows the common symptoms of respiratory diseases. This based upon data published by the World Health Organisation and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America