A leading professor has warned people to assume they have Covid if they wake up with two noticeable symptoms.
Professor Tim Spector, founder of the Covid ZOE app, warned that morning fatigue, even after a good night’s sleep, in addition to a sore throat could be a sign of infection.
He added that sore throats are more common in people with the coronavirus than the common cold.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of Covid infections in the UK increased by 7 per cent in the week to July 14 to almost 3.8 million, from 3.5 million the week before. This is the highest estimate of the total number of infections since mid-April, but is still below the record of 4.9 million reached in late March.
If you notice these two symptoms, you should “assume” it’s Covid, Professor Spector wrote.
“Twice the number of covid cases than the common cold – the rate has never been higher,” he tweeted.
“Symptoms are pretty much the same except for more tiredness and sore throat – so better to assume it’s Covid!
“Hopefully this wave will end soon.”
Professor Spector added: “Try to get screened if you can. If you can’t get tested, assume you have a cold and stay away from other people until you feel better.’
He said last week: “New research shows that new variants of BA4 and BA5 work by evading existing immune defenses and neutralizing some of them. It’s no wonder they’re so successful, with business soaring to record levels in the UK.”
The coronavirus remains most prevalent in Scotland, where an estimated 340,900 people contracted the virus in the week to July 14, or about every 15th.
This is up slightly from 334,000, or one in 16, and is the highest estimate for Scotland since the start of April – although the ONS describes the trend as “uncertain”. In England, 3.1 million people were likely to have the virus in the week to July 13, equivalent to about one in 17. This was up from 2.9 million, or one in 19, the week before.
According to the ONS, there has been a significant increase in re-infections during the current Omicron wave. The analysis showed that the infection rate in England was higher than during the first wave of Covid, but the number of hospitalizations during this “Alpha” wave was twice as high and the death rate was 14 times higher.
Professor Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at UEA, however, said infections were likely to be falling because the ONS data was about two to three weeks behind.
“It bears repeating that the ONS infection survey first publishes Covid prevalence (ie the proportion of the population testing positive) and a week or more later than the samples on which the results are based. As people can remain positive for around 11 days after first testing positive for Covid, ONS data is always about 2-3 weeks behind the epidemic curve in terms of new infections (diseases), Professor Hunter said.