Kia ora koutou,
Recent community acquired cases of COVID-19 in Auckland have been the B1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom, as confirmed by whole genome sequencing. These recent cases have been presenting with the more atypical symptoms of COVID-19. We also saw this presentation with the recent community case in Northland who was infected with the variant of SARS-CoV-2 first identified in South Africa.
Please be aware of these less typical symptoms, which may include muscle aches and pains and fatigue (which individuals may attribute to causes such as exercise), or only; fever, diarrhoea, headache, nausea/vomiting, or confusion/irritability. See the Ministry of Health website for details.
It is still important to test for COVID-19 if a patient presents with any acute respiratory infection with at least one of the following symptoms (with or without fever):
· new or worsening cough
· sore throat
· shortness of breath
· coryza – head cold (eg, runny nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip)
· anosmia – loss of sense of smell
Thank you again for the important part you play in supporting the health and well-being of New Zealanders. We appreciate your continued partnership in our response.
Ngā mihi nui
Director of Public Health
Ministry of Health