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, and a sore throat could be signs of infection.
He added that people with the coronavirus have a sore throat more often 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 is Covid, Professor Spector wrote.
“There are currently twice as many cases of Covid as the common cold,” he tweeted. “The ratio has never been so high.
“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 England had a higher infection rate than during the first wave of Covid, although the number of hospitalizations during this “Alpha” wave was twice as high and the number of deaths was 14 times higher.
However, Professor Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said the number of infections was 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 – that is, the proportion of the population testing positive – and a week or more later than the samples on which the results are based were taken. As people can remain positive for around 11 days after first testing positive for Covid, ONS data is always about two to three weeks behind the epidemic curve in terms of new infections – the number of cases,” Professor Hunter said.