Omicron: GP explains ‘overwhelming’ science behind vaccines
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Since the start of the pandemic the COVID-19 virus has continued to mutate. It is because of this that we’ve seen new strains popping up time and time again. And with this comes changes in the most common symptoms people experience.
The ZOE Health Study, which collates patients’ reports on their symptoms, explained: “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.”
Among the top 10 symptoms now experienced by Covid patients in the UK is dysphonia.
This is the medical term for a hoarse voice.
To treat this, the Mayo Clinic recommends you:
- Breathe moist air – use a humidifier or inhale steam from a bowl of hot water or a hot shower
- Rest your voice as much as possible
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration (avoid alcohol and caffeine)
- Moisten your throat.
The other most common Covid symptoms as listed by ZOE are now:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Blocked nose
- Cough without phlegm
- Cough with phlegm
- Muscle aches and pains
- Altered sense of smell.
The study 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 to do if you have symptoms
While there are no longer legal Covid restrictions in the UK, the government still recommends staying at home if you test positive.
The NHS advises staying home and avoiding contact with others if you have Covid.
It says stay home if you:
- Have any symptoms of COVID-19, and have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to go to work or do your normal activities
- Have tested positive for COVID-19 – this means it’s very likely you have the virus.
“You should avoid being in close contact with people at higher risk from COVID-19,” the health service adds.
“This is particularly important if their immune system means they’re at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, even if they’ve had a COVID-19 vaccine.”
How long am I infectious for?
People with Covid can pass on the virus to other people for up to 10 days from when the infection starts.
However, the NHS says “many” people will no longer be infectious to others after five days.
With this in mind you should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days and avoid meeting vulnerable people for at least 10 days.
This starts from the day after you did the test.
Other Covid symptoms to look for include:
- A high temperature or shivering
- A new, continuous cough
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or exhausted
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling sick or being sick.
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