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03rd Oct 2022

Warning as experts say new covid symptom is ‘more common than loss of smell’ as UK cases rise

April Curtin

1 in 65 people in England were thought to have the virus in the most recent week of data

Brits are being warned about a new covid symptom which has appeared amid rising cases in the UK, with doctors predicting a flu and covid “twindemic” in the coming months.

Experts have long identified a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss of sense of taste and smell as the main symptoms of coronavirus.

But one professor has claimed that the government guidelines about symptoms are wrong, as a sore throat is one of the new dominant symptoms, which seems to be more common than the loss of taste or smell.

Professor Tim Spector, co-founder of the Covid Symptom Study app told The Independent: “It looks like we’re in the start of the next wave and this time it’s affected older people slightly earlier than the last wave. Many people are still using the government guidelines about symptoms which are wrong.”

JOE contacted the government’s Department of Health for comment, who pointed out that a sore throat is listed as a symptom of Covid on the NHS website, and that the symptoms are not ranked.

Spector said that the virus currently starts in two-thirds of people with a sore throat, while fever and loss of smell are “really rare”. He worries that old people might not think they’ve got covid, and won’t get tested.

And as covid rates rise in the UK, particularly amongst older people, the professor worries the number of hospitalisations will also increase. Though he did point out that cases amongst the youngest age group are showing early signs of slowing, and given that children tend to be “a leader of infection trends” it is possible that this wave might not be as bad as predicted.

A 14 per cent rise in people testing positive for covid was recorded in the week to 20 September, which marks the biggest increase since the summer, with 1 in 65 people in England thought to have it.

Speaking to the BBC, deputy chief medical officer for England, Dr Thomas Waite, said: “The fact there are people getting so seriously ill they need to go into hospital is a wake-up call to us all that covid is still here.”

Despite this, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there is no clear evidence of an autumn covid wave starting.

Though experts have warned of a flu and covid “twindemic” this winter, urging those who qualify not to waste time getting their free jabs.

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