Coronavirus: Dr Ashley Bloomfield reveals latest cases' 'atypical COVID-19 symptoms'

Dr Ashley Bloomfield has revealed some of New Zealand's latest community cases of COVID-19 have been displaying "atypical symptoms".

Since the country's first COVID-19 outbreak broke out in February last year, Kiwis have been asked to be aware of the most common symptoms including fever, sore throat, coughing and shortness of breath.

But during Wednesday's 1pm COVID-19 update, the Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there have been some differences recorded in the transmission and appearance of COVID-19 in the Papatoetoe families who have tested positive.

"There are questions which have been raised about why some very close contacts don't seem to be infected, but in this instance, we have had what appears to be a very casual interaction that has led to an infection. Of course, this just seems to be the nature of this virus and particularly these new variants so we will be following this evidence up very closely.

"I just want to emphasise too that several of our recent cases with this new variant have had what one might call atypical symptoms where their main symptom has been muscle aches and feeling tired rather than typical respiratory symptoms."

Dr Bloomfield asked Kiwis to "be aware" that these could be symptoms of COVID-19, as some people may ascribe them to a different cause.

"Sometimes people prescribe these symptoms to other things such as post-exercise muscle discomfort," he said. "So if people could just keep that in mind. And in several of these latest cases, the students have not felt particularly unwell or have understandably ascribed their symptoms to something else."

He said the difference could be due to the new variants, which haven't been recorded in New Zealand before.

"We are actively monitoring the emerging evidence about these new variants from overseas, including around infectiousness, incubation periods and symptom presentation," Dr Bloomfield said.

No new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the community on Wednesday.

There are currently 11 cases linked to the February Auckland cluster, with the latest being three siblings at Papatoetoe High School tested positive on Tuesday.

One of the cases works at Kmart Botany and was in the store over the weekend despite the Government's advice to students and their families to self-isolate until they returned a negative test result.

Anyone who visited the store between 3:30pm and 10:30pm on Friday and Saturday is asked to immediately isolate, call Healthline, and get tested for COVID-19.