Covid is on the rise once again, and the Health Secretary has even said a fourth jab is looking increasingly likely by the autumn.
It is getting harder and harder to find someone who hasn’t had it, but you can catch it multiple times, so it is important to be aware of the signs.
Here’s everything you need to know about the symptoms of Covid.
Is a sore throat a symptom of Covid?
The NHS has highlighted the three main symptoms of Covid as:
- High temperature: This means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
- New, continuous cough: This is defined as coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
- Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste (anosmia): This means you have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
The NHS does not list a sore throat as one of the Covid symptoms, however, some other health authorities do, such as the American Centre for Disease Control.
According to Yella Hewings-Martin, PhD of the ZOE Covid Study which is tracking symptoms across the country, the most common symptoms that sufferers have been reporting lately have been a sore throat, headaches, runny noses, fatigue, and sneezing.
The Zoe Covid study wrote in a post last year: “Even though a sore throat is a less well-known symptom of Covid-19, it’s an early sign of the disease and reasonably common in children and adults up to the age of 65.
“People using the app have reported having a sore throat that feels similar to what you might experience during a cold or laryngitis.
“Covid-related sore throats tend to be relatively mild and last no more than five days. A very painful sore throat that lasts more than five days may be something else such as a bacterial infection, so don’t be afraid to contact your GP if the problem persists.
“It’s important to remember that sore throats are common and caused by lots of respiratory illnesses such as normal colds. So although many people with Covid-19 experience sore throats, most people with a sore throat will not have Covid-19.”
It added that the symptoms usually appears in the first week of illness and lasts two to three days, although sometimes it can be longer.
What should I do if I think I have Covid?
If you think you have it you no longer have to self-isolate.
However, the NHS says: “While you’re no longer required by law to self-isolate if you have Covid-19, you should still stay at home and avoid contact with other people. This helps reduce the chance of passing Covid-19 on to others.”
It adds that you should “stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you:
- have any of the main symptoms of Covid-19
- have tested positive for Covid-19 – this means you have the virus.
The Government says lateral flow tests are for people who do not have symptoms but want to check if they have Covid.
If you get a positive lateral flow test result, you do not usually need to get a follow-up PCR test
But if you have any of the main symptoms and have not taken a lateral flow you should take a PCR test. You can order one here.
Are lateral flow tests still free?
For now, but they won’t be for long. The Government will stop providing universally free Covid-19 tests will from 1 April.
Twice-weekly testing for staff and students in education and childcare has already ended.
Businesses will be liable to pay for their testing regime if they want to continue checking whether their employees have coronavirus.
How many Covid cases are there in the UK?
Covid is on the rise once again, and in the last seven days 516,289 have tested positive for Covid.
This is an increase of 49.2 per cent.
The number of people being admitted to hospital has also risen by 20.9 percent to 11,047 in the past seven days.
However, the number of deaths is still relatively low in the past week, and 744 below have died within 28 days of a positive Covid test, a decrease of 4.4. per cent.
In terms of vaccinations, 91.7 per cent of the population aged over 12 have had their first dose but only 67 per cent have had the full course of three doses.
Long COVID: Half of patients hospitalised have at least one symptom two years on – Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin
Two years on, half of a group of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, still have at least one lingering symptom, according to a study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The study followed 1192 participants in Wuhan infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the first phase of the pandemic in 2020.
While physical and mental health generally improved over time, the study found that COVID-19 patients still tend to have poorer health and quality of life than the general population. This is especially the case for participants with long COVID, who typically still have at least one symptom including fatigue, shortness of breath and sleep difficulties two years after initially falling ill.1
The long-term health impacts of COVID-19 have remained largely unknown, as the longest follow-up studies to date have spanned around one year.2 The lack of pre-COVID-19 health status baselines and comparisons with the general population in most studies has also made it difficult to determine how well patients with COVID-19 have recovered.
Lead author Professor Bin Cao, of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, China, said, “Our findings indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalised COVID-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial infection, more than two years is needed to recover fully from COVID-19. Ongoing follow-up of COVID-19 survivors, particularly those with symptoms of long COVID, is essential to understand the longer course of the illness, as is further exploration of the benefits of rehabilitation programs for recovery. There is a clear need to provide continued support to a significant proportion of people who’ve had COVID-19, and to understand how vaccines, emerging treatments and variants affect long-term health outcomes.”3
The authors of the new study sought to analyse the long-term health outcomes of hospitalised COVID-19 survivors, as well as specific health impacts of long COVID. They evaluated the health of 1192 participants with acute COVID-19 treated at Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan, China, between 7 January and 29 May 2020, at six months, 12 months and two years.
Assessments involved a six-minute walking test, laboratory tests and questionnaires on symptoms, mental health, health-related quality of life, if they had returned to work and healthcare use after discharge. The negative effects of long COVID on quality of life, exercise capacity, mental health and healthcare use were determined by comparing participants with and without long COVID symptoms. Health outcomes at two years were determined using an age-, sex- and comorbidities-matched control group of people in the general population with no history of COVID-19 infection.
Two years after initially falling ill, patients with COVID-19 are generally in poorer health than the general population, with 31% reporting fatigue or muscle weakness and 31% reporting sleep difficulties. The proportion of non-COVID-19 participants reporting these symptoms was 5% and 14%, respectively.
COVID-19 patients were also more likely to report a number of other symptoms including joint pain, palpitations, dizziness and headaches. In quality of life questionnaires, COVID-19 patients also more often reported pain or discomfort (23%) and anxiety or depression (12%) than non-COVID-19 participants (5% and 5%, respectively).
Around half of study participants had symptoms of long COVID at two years, and reported lower quality of life than those without long COVID. In mental health questionnaires, 35% reported pain or discomfort and 19% reported anxiety or depression. The proportion of COVID-19 patients without long COVID reporting these symptoms was 10% and 4% at two years, respectively. Long COVID participants also more often reported problems with their mobility (5%) or activity levels (4%) than those without long COVID (1% and 2%, respectively).
The authors acknowledged limitations to their study, such as moderate response rate; slightly increased proportion of participants who received oxygen; it was a single centre study from early in the pandemic.
1. – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network – Royal College of General Practitioners. COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing the long-term effects of COVID-19. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng188
2. – Soriano – JB Murthy – S Marshall – JC Relan – P Diaz JV – on behalf of the WHO Clinical Case Definition Working Group on Post-COVID-19 Condition. A clinical case definition of post-COVID-19 condition by a Delphi consensus. Lancet Infect Dis. 2021; 22: e102-e107
3. – Huang L – Yao Q – Gu X – et al. 1-year outcomes in hospital survivors with COVID-19: a longitudinal cohort study. Lancet. 2021; 398: 747-758
Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/ink drop
2SLGBTQ+ lobby group head speaks on the trauma of conversion therapy
Although conversion therapy has now been outlawed in Canada, many are still victims causing them to go through a lot of trauma in the process.
According to Jordan Sullivan, Project Coordinator of Conversion Therapy Survivors Support and Survivors of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Change Efforts (SOGIECE), survivors of conversion therapy identify the need for a variety of supports including education and increased awareness about SOGIECE and conversion practices.
Also needed is access to affirming therapists experienced with SOGIECE, trauma (including religious trauma), safe spaces and networks, and access to affirming healthcare practitioners who are aware of conversion therapy or SOGIECE and equipped to support survivors.
“In January of 2021 when I was asked to be the project coordinator, I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure that my experience could be classified as SOGIECE or conversion therapy. I never attended a formalized conversion therapy program or camp run by a religious organization. Healthcare practitioners misdiagnosed me or refused me access to care.
In reality, I spent 27 years internalizing conversion therapy practices through prayer, the study of religious texts, disassociation from my body, and suppression or denial of my sexual and gender identities. I spent six years in counselling and change attempts using conversion therapy practices. I came out as a lesbian at age 33, and as a Trans man at age 51. I am now 61 and Queerly Heterosexual, but I spent decades of my life hiding in shame and fear and struggled with suicidal ideation until my mid-30s.
At times I wanted to crawl away and hide, be distracted by anything that silenced the emptiness, the pain, the wounds deep inside. I realized that in some ways, I am still more comfortable in shame, silence, and disassociation, than in any other way of being and living, but I was also filled with wonderment at the resiliency and courage of every single one of the participants.
However, many of us did not survive, choosing to end the pain and shame through suicide. Many of us are still victims in one way or another, still silenced by the shame, still afraid of being seen as we are. Still, many of us are survivors, and while it has not been an easy road, many of us are thrivers too,” said Jordan.
In addition, Jordan said conversion practices and programs are not easily defined or identified, and often capture only a fragment of pressures and messages that could be considered SOGIECE.
Some in B.C. cross U.S. border for their next COVID-19 vaccine – Global News
Global News Hour at 6 BC
There is evidence of the lengths some British Columbians will go to get a second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — crossing the border to Point Roberts, WA for a shot. The movement comes thanks to the different approach to the fourth shot south of the border. Catherine Urquhart reports.
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