AS Christmas approaches, no one wants to be struck down with illness.
With many people currently battling with a cough or a sniffle, it can be easy to dismiss your symptoms as a cold.
That’s because the most common Covid symptoms right now aren’t much different from a cold.
Infections have been climbing in recent weeks, with around 1.3million Brits having caught the bug.
The most recent data from the ZOE Health Study states that there are ten symptoms Brits are currently experiencing.
- a sore throat
- a runny nose
- a blocked nose
- a cough without phlegm
- a headache
- a cough with phlegm
- a hoarse voice
- muscle aches and pains
- an altered sense of smell.
These reflect the ailments of those logging their symptoms from the 30 days up to December 5, the experts said.
Figures from the Office for National statistics last week revealed that Covid infections are rising across the whole of the UK as a new Omicron variant spreads before Christmas.
In England, Covid infections have climbed above one million, while Scotland and Wales have both seen an increase.
The trend in Northern Ireland is uncertain and there is a mixed picture among different regions and age groups.
A new Covid variant, known as BQ1 Omicron is driving the new surge new cases this Christmas.
Data shows that 1.3million Brits had the virus in the week to December 5.
This is up 16 per cent from 1.1 million in the previous week.
However deaths from Covid have been falling, with 402 recorded in the seven days to December 10.
Covid jabs and booster injections are still freely available in the UK and are the best source of protection against the impacts of the virus.
Experts have warned increased mixing indoors due to the cold weather and weakened immunity among the population from years of lockdowns could be putting more people at risk to catching bugs and viruses.
For the first time since the pandemic began there are more people being admitted to hospital with flu than Covid.
Fresh figures from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found that flu hospitalisations are the highest they’ve been in four years.
The NHS is also dealing with an outbreak of Strep A – which has so far killed 19 children.
The surge in cases is putting a huge strain on NHS 111 and pharmacists, with shortages of penicillin and other antibiotics reported across the UK, experts have said.
Is it a cold?
Professor Tim Spector, scientific co-founder of ZOE previously said we are likely to be hit with a combination of viruses this winter.
He added that colds due to rhinovirus are increasing rapidly and are currently around five times more common than Covid-19.
If you’re suffering from a cold, it’s likely you will pick up ear infections and infections of the sinuses.
In general though, you may experience:
- runny nose
- body aches
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