Covid-19: Experts warn of new symptom as 'devastating' wave hits Britain

Infections have increased to 14% last week of September, prompting fears of another wave.

Covid-19: Experts warn of new symptom as 'devastating' wave hits Britain
© Getty/ Mike Kemp
Covid-19: Experts warn of new symptom as 'devastating' wave hits Britain

Health experts in the UK are raising alarm over a possible ‘devastating’ wave of Covid-19 this autumn. This warning is coming on the back of a 14% increase in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in the week ending September 20, the first sustained rise since mid-July, according to the Office for National Statistics. The cause of the new wave is not certain, but experts say the government’s guidelines on symptoms could be misleading as many people may be spreading the virus without knowing.

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Cause for worry

There are fears this new wave could take a huge toll on an already-struggling NHS if not contained properly. According to DailyMail, early data points to the new subvariants of Omicron getting past the immunity that people have built through Covid-19 infections and vaccinations. There are concerns that these new subvariants present different symptoms not captured in the NHS’s guidelines. An epidemiologist, Prof Tim Spector told The Independent:

At the moment, Covid starts in two-thirds of people with a sore throat. Fever and loss of smell are really rare now – so many old people may not think they've got Covid. They'd say it's a cold and not be tested.
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This is particularly worrying because there has been a significant decrease in testing over the months, according to another expert virologist, Professor Lawrence Young.

‘Not out of the woods yet’

Scientists have been looking at how the new subvariants of omicron are evolving and responding to vaccines and would seem like they have found a way around the immunity that people have built against Covid-19. Prof Young warned:

We can only detect variants or know what’s coming by doing sequencing from PCR testing, and that’s not going on anywhere near the extent it was a year ago.

He added that due to increasing cost of living, people would be less willing to take time off work if they have symptoms, especially if they’re paid by the hour.

Sources used: Experts warn UK is “blind” to devastating new COVID wave and this is the symptom you need to look out for

DailyMail: Experts warn the UK is ALREADY at the start of a 'devastating' new Covid wave that could cripple the NHS this winter - amid fears Omicron variants are dodging immunity as cases surge 14% in a week

The Independent: UK ‘blind’ to new immune-evasive Covid variants creating ‘perfect storm’ for devastating wave

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