Coronavirus booster vaccines to be offered to over 50s in Autumn
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The main symptoms of coronavirus are now no longer as black and white as they once were as the UK moves past the peak of its fifth wave, a wave driven by two subvariants of Omicron, BA.4 and BA.5.
As well as being more transmissible than previous variants of Omicron, these sub-variants produce symptoms similar to that of seasonal illnesses such as cold or flu.
As a result, the main symptoms to look out for are no longer less of smell and taste, or even a continuous dry cough.
According to King’s College London academic and architect of the COVID ZOE App Professor Tim Spector, the main symptoms to look out for are fatigue and a sore throat.
Professor Spector said the sore throat and fatigue symptoms were more commonly reported in patients with Covid than those with the common cold.
The professor tweeted: “There are twice as many Covid cases as common colds currently.
“Symptoms much the same except generally more fatigue and sore throat – so best to assume it’s Covid.”
Professor Spector added: “Try to get tested if you can. If you can’t get tested, assume you’ve got a cold and stay away from other people until you feel better.”
Other symptoms of COVID-19 include:
• A new, continuous cough
• Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
• Shortness of breath
• Aching body
• Blocked or runny nose
• Loss of appetite
• Feeling or being sick.
As with Professor Spector, the NHS warns of the similarity between these symptoms and the common cold, something that will become problematic during the colder months.
While this is a problem for the future, of greater concern is the present and UK’s fifth wave of the virus.
New data suggests the UK is continuing to move past the peak as hospitalisations fall.
According to data from NHS England, the number of people in hospital has fallen by a quarter in the last fortnight.
A total of 10,417 people were in hospital with COVID-19 as of Monday 1st August, a figure down 26 percent on the figure from 18th July when 14,044 were in hospital.
These numbers, though still significant, are much lower than the peak during the third national lockdown when over 30,000 people were in hospital.
It is hoped the fall in hospitalisations will ease some of the burden on the NHS and allow it to carry out more routine care for patients.
Is COVID-19 still a virus to be worried about?
Although Covid causes less serious illness and is less likely to cause death than in the early stages of lockdown, it is still a virus to be wary of both in the short and long term.
In the short term, people are still dying from the virus.
However, it is the long term where there is greater concern and the impact of Covid on the long-term health of the cardiovascular system.
Studies have shown a mild case of Covid could increase the risk of cardiovascular issues substantially.
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