New symptoms could be included on the list of reasons people should be tested for coronavirus.

The Welsh Government is going to look at whether symptoms such as headache, tiredness and muscle aches could be added to the reasons for obtaining a test.

It comes as people living in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot are now able to get a test if they have other symptoms too, on top of the normal classic signs, which include a fever, a new continuous cough or a loss/change of taste and smell.

These include:

  • Flu-like symptoms including any or all of: myalgia (muscle ache or pain), excessive tiredness, persistent headache, runny nose or blocked nose, persistent sneezing, sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing;

  • Generally feeling unwell and a history of being in contact with a known Covid-19 case;

  • Any new or change in symptoms following a previous negative test.

Asked about whether this could be rolled out more widely, Wales’ Chief Medical Officer, Dr Frank Atherton, agreed it was something to consider.

He said: “It’s true that, particularly with the new variant, that some of the symptomatology, some of the symptom clusters, do appear to be a bit different to the virus that we originally saw here in Wales and in the UK.

“So there are other symptoms that people have.

“The classic three symptoms remain the case definition, that’s continually reviewed by chief medical officers, but the widening of the testing criteria does make sense in the current circumstance and that’s something that we’re thinking about, not just in Swansea Bay but in other areas as well.

“As the rates go down, it gives us more ability to cast the net wider and find residual cases, so widening the testing criteria can make sense and can be helpful in bringing rates down even lower.”

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