Many care home residents have atypical COVID-19 symptoms, study finds

Many care home residents have atypical COVID-19 symptoms, study finds

Care home residents with coronavirus may be asymptomatic or not display typical symptoms, and should be tested if they are feeling generally unwell, new research conducted in Norfolk indicates.

According to the study by the University of East Anglia and North Norfolk Primary Care, in many cases symptoms were not typical and did not include a high temperature, cough or loss of smell.

Instead, residents who tested positive for COVID-19 often presented as generally unwell, researchers say in the study, yet to be peer-reviewed.

The team suggests effective testing and screening of residents and staff in care homes is vital for identifying cases and controlling the spread of the virus.

The ECHT tested 518 residents in 44 care homes, and 340 staff in 10 care homes, for COVID-19 using nose and throat swabs between April 7 and June 29.

The team found 103 residents tested positive in 14 homes and 49 staff in seven homes. However, only 38 (37pc) had typical symptoms at the time of the test.

More than half (54 residents) were completely asymptomatic when tested, and 12 developed symptoms within 14 days.

Some of those who tested positive did experience typical symptoms such as a cough or fever, but feeling generally unwell was also common, a pre-print of the study shows, North Norfolk News reported.