Latest Covid symptoms explained as new Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variant cases rise across UK

Covid-19 cases are rising quickly againdue to the spread of Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5.

This week tea ZOE Covid study predicted that roughly 3.7 million people currently have symptomatic Covid-19.

But what are the symptoms and what should you look out for? Here’s everything you need to know.

What are the current Covid rates?

Covid-19 infections in the UK are up 32 per cent on the previous week with an estimated 2.3 million people infected, latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show. Infections in all four nations of the UK are risingwith levels in England back to where they were in late April.

The latest wave is being driven by the newer variants Omicron BA.4 and BA.5, which are more transmissible than other strains and are able to evade the immune protection built up by vaccines or previous infections.

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Grassroots lobbying group Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) told I with the withdrawal of free lateral flow tests for the majority it is difficult to accurately know case numbers, but it is likely that current official figures are a “significant underestimate”.

Aim tea Zoe Covid Study, which has been collecting data throughout the pandemic, estimates that there are currently around 320,000 new infections across the UK every day.

What are the symptoms of Covid?

The NHS says the symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) in adults can include:

  • a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • an aching body
  • a headache
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • feeling sick or being sick

The Zoe Covid Study has also identified Covid tongue as a symptom, and it includes “mouth ulcers and their tongue appearing coated or patchy”, as well as rashes. The website says: “The most common are a hive-type rash (urticaria), ‘prickly heat’ or chickenpox-type rash (papular or vesicular rash) and Covid fingers and toes rash (chilblain-like)”.

It identifies the five most common symptoms after 2 vaccinations as:

  1. Runny nose
  2. Headache
  3. Sneezing
  4. sore throat
  5. persistent cough

They said: “The previous ‘traditional’ symptoms as still outlined on the Government website, such as anosmia (loss of smell), shortness of breath and fever rank way down the list, at 6, 29 and 8 respectively.”

It adds: “If you’ve not yet been vaccinated, then the symptoms are more recognizable to the traditional original ranking, however, we can still observe some changes from when Covid-19 first appeared over a year ago.

  1. Headache
  2. Sore Throat
  3. RunnyNose
  4. Fever
  5. persistent cough

Where to register a lateral flow test result

The Government advises people to report their result every time they take a lateral flow test.

You can report your test result to the Government here.

You will need the QR code or ID number printed on the test strip (the part of the kit that shows your result) and a mobile phone number so they can text you to confirm they have got your result.

You cannot use this service to report results from a test kit you’ve paid for.

If you paid for a test, check the test kit instructions to see if you should report your results to the private test provider.

What to do if you test positive

England

The Government recommends following NHS advice if you have Covid symptoms or test positive.

Tea NHS says if you test positive you should try to stay home and avoid other people for five days, starting from the day after you did the test, and avoid meeting people who are at higher risk from Covid-19 for 10 days.

If a person aged 18 or under tests positive they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for three days, as children and young adults tend to be infectious for a shorter time than adults.

The advice for people who feel unwell but have not tested positive is to stay at home and avoid meeting others until they feel better.

The NHS recommends taking the following steps to avoid passing Covid-19 on to others:

  • Try to work from home if you can – if you’re unable to work from home, ask your employer about options available to you
  • Stay at home if you can – this helps reduce the number of people you have contact with
  • Avoid contact with people at higher risk from Covid-19 for 10 days, especially if their immune system means they’re at higher risk of serious illness from coronavirus, even if they’ve had a vaccine
  • Follow advice on how to avoid spreading Covid-19 to people you live with
  • Let people who need to come into your home know that you’ve tested positive or have symptoms – they can then take steps to protect themselves, such as wearing a face covering that fits well, staying away from you as much as they can, and washing their hands regularly
  • Contact your healthcare provider and tell them about your positive test result or symptoms if you’re asked to attend a medical or dental appointment in person
  • Ask friends, family or neighbors to get food or other essentials for you.

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scotland

The Scottish Government recommends following the advice on NHS Inform.

If you test positive, you should stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days after the day you took your test, or from the day your symptoms started (whichever was earlier).

If you have not tested positive, you should try to stay home until you feel better.

It is also recommended you take the following steps to keep others safe:

  • Work from home if you can. If you can’t work from home, talk to your employer about your options
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is at higher risk, especially individuals with a weakened immune system, for 10 days
  • If you’ve been asked to attend a medical or dental appointment in person, tell them about your symptoms
  • You may wish to ask friends, family or neighbors to get food and other essentials for you.

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wales

Wales is continuing to offer free lateral flow tests to people who have symptoms throughout July. You can order them here.

If you display Covid-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate and order a test. Continue to self-isolate until you get your result. Should the test be negative, you can leave isolation immediately.

If you test positive, you are advised to isolate for five full days, starting from the day after you took the test, and then take another test.

Should that test be negative, take another test the following day. If that test is also negative you can leave isolation.

If either test is positive continue isolating until you receive negative tests two days in a row, or until day 10, whichever is sooner.

Northern Ireland

The Northern Irish Government advises people to isolate immediately if they have Covid-19 symptoms or have tested positive.

If you display symptoms you should self-isolate and order a test. Continue to self-isolate until you get your result. If the test is negative you can leave isolation immediately.

If you test positive you are advised to isolate for five full days, starting from the day after you took the test, and then take another test.

If that test is negative, take another test the following day. If that test is also negative you can leave isolation.

If either test is positive, continue isolating until you receive negative tests two days in a row, or until day 10, whichever is sooner.

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