Omicron: GP explains ‘overwhelming’ science behind vaccines
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Cases of Covid remain high in the UK, with around 1.4 million people infected in the week ending December 9. While many of us are aware of the symptoms of infection, some of these are signs that were more common in the early stages of the pandemic. The result of mutations as well as vaccines has meant some of the prevalent side effects of Covid have changed.
Using the ZOE Health Study is one way to monitor the current trends in Covid symptoms.
The study collates data from thousands of patients across the UK who report the signs of their infection.
This month the team at ZOE updated its list of the most common symptoms due to changes in reports.
And in the 30 days leading up to December 5, two forms of tussis were recognised as “top” signs of Covid.
Tussis is the medical term for a cough.
The study revealed that both a cough with phlegm (mucus) and a cough without phlegm were among the 10 most common symptoms at the moment.
The other eight symptoms were:
- A sore throat
- A runny nose
- A blocked nose
- A headache
- A hoarse voice
- Muscle aches and pains
- An altered sense of smell.
The study explains: “Since the start of the pandemic, ZOE has continually reported the most common Covid symptoms and how they’ve changed over time.
“These symptoms have changed for a few reasons, including the introduction of vaccines and the emergence of new variants.
“Like every virus, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is constantly evolving, in terms of its ability to spread and the symptoms it causes.”
Some of the “traditional” symptoms of Covid are no longer as prevalent, according to the study.
It says: “The previous ‘traditional’ symptoms, such as loss of smell (anosmia), shortness of breath, and a fever, are much less common these days.
“In the list of common symptoms, anosmia ranks 14th, and shortness of breath ranks 16th.
“Anosmia used to be a key indicator of COVID-19, but only about 16 percent of people with the illness now experience it.”
What should I do if I have symptoms?
The only way to be sure if you have Covid is to take a test.
If you test positive the NHS recommends staying at home and avoiding contact with other people for five days.
The health service also says you should avoid meeting vulnerable people for at least 10 days.
If you live with other people it is important to try to prevent the infection from spreading.
Ways to do so include wearing a mask in shared rooms, regularly cleaning surfaces, washing your hands and opening windows.
Other Covid symptoms to look for include:
- A high temperature or shivering
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or exhausted
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling sick or being sick.
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