Half of colds are COVID: UK study

Health

Published: 2021-12-24 13:54

Last Updated: 2022-05-17 09:32


Half of colds are COVID: UK study
Half of colds are COVID: UK study

British researchers have warned that suffering from a sore throat, runny nose and a headache, could indicate a high probability of infection with COVID-19.

A team from ZOE COVID Study, which is a non-profit initiative that was launched to support vital COVID-19 research, tracked feedback from the general public and estimated that half of those with cold-like symptoms actually had coronavirus.

The team says there has been an “explosion” of COVID cases in the past week, driven by the new Omicron variant.

Everyday, around 144,000 people feel unwell because of COVID and because for most people, coronavirus is a mild illness, some do not show any symptoms at all.

However, the team continues, it can still cause very dangerous symptoms in some people, including those who have not been vaccinated.

If you develop cold-like symptoms, you should get tested for the coronavirus, advises chief scientist Professor Tim Spector.

“The number of new symptomatic cases has exploded over the last week,” he said.

“For most people, an Omicron positive case will feel much more like the common cold, starting with a sore throat, runny nose and a headache. You only need to ask a friend who has recently tested positive to find this out.

“We need to change public messaging urgently to save lives,” Spector added.

On Wednesday, the total number of coronavirus cases in Britain reached 10,6,122 cases, exceeding 100,000 cases in one day for the first time.

With infections doubling every two to three days, experts say, British health officials are concerned about the strain this could put on the NHS.

Preliminary studies indicate that the Omicron variant is less dangerous, as the number of people who develop serious complications as a result of infection is much less compared to other variants.

However, a huge wave of infections could still mean that many people need hospitalization, in addition to the fact that many doctors and nurses will have to be off sick with COVID.

People are advised to get tested before meeting friends and family at Christmas.