New symptoms overtake cough or fever as the most common signs of Covid-19

A temperature and cough are no longer the most common sign of Covid-19, new studies have shown.

Covid cases have risen exponentially in the last two weeks, with 218,724 cases confirmed on Tuesday, January 4th.

In the last seven days, 1,281,588 people have been tested positive for the virus, and concerns are growing about how Britain’s workforce can work with so many people to be isolated at the same time.

READ MORE: Discover more stories about coronavirus on Leicestershire Live

For almost two years, the most commonly reported signs of Covid were high temperature and cough, but it now appears that various symptoms are more common after the onset of the Omicron variant.

According to the ZOE Covid study, 51.3 percent of people experiencing the new cold-like symptoms are likely to have symptomatic Covid, the Mirror reports.

Symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat and headache.

Despite the huge number of cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has chosen not to impose further restrictions to combat the proliferation.

It comes amid news that around 1.3 million people in the UK – one in 50 – are likely to suffer from prolonged Covid, the highest number since estimates began.

This includes more than half a million people who had the first strain of Covid-19 or suspected they had the virus at least a year ago.

The figures, provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), are based on self-reported long Covid from a representative sample of individuals in private households.

Cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat and headache are more common than those with fever or cough
Cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat and headache are more common than those with fever or cough

The responses were collected in the four weeks leading up to December 6 last year – before the recent increase in Covid-19 infections due to the more viral Omicron variant.

The estimate of 1.3 million people with long Covid has risen from the 1.2 million estimated at the end of October, as well as the 945,000 estimated at the beginning of July.

Out of the 1.3 million, 892,000 people – 70 percent – had first or suspected they had Covid-19 at least 12 weeks before, while 40 percent of the total, 506,000, had the virus at least a year earlier.

Dr. Claire Steves, scientist at the ZOE COVID Study App and Reader at King’s College London, said: “It’s good news that the number of daily new cases has dropped for now. ZOE COVID survey data show that this slowdown is driven by cases that falls in London and in younger age groups, however, it is worrying to see the number of cases increase in the age group over 75 years.

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“This is the group we need to protect as they are most likely to be hospitalized as a result of a COVID infection. It is too early to know if the cases have really peaked in London as schools are not yet reopening after the holidays .

“We have seen school terms drive waves of infection through the pandemic. The health and care systems are already under enormous pressure, so we all have to take personal responsibility for limiting the spread of COVID.

“This can be in the form of regular tests, wearing masks, staying away from busy crowded places, meeting outside and getting booster vaccines.”

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