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221003 | New Covid-19 symptom discovered as Britain warned of tough winter | confirmed Covid cases risen over past week

New Covid-19 symptom discovered as Britain warned of tough winter

Research shows that two-thirds of people are now experiencing a new dominant symptom instead of a loss of smell or fever

Toby Codd
Thinkstock generic image of a man coughing

The number of confirmed Covid cases has risen over the past week 

People are being warned that a new subvariant of Covid-19 could hit Britain this winter. Health experts have revealed that a new wave of infections could be on the way, bringing with it new symptoms.

It is reported that two-thirds of people are now experiencing a new main symptom - a sore throat. Previously, most people with the virus reported a loss of smell or fever.

As reported by Manchester Evening News, Professor Tim Spector, co-founder of the Covid ZOE app told The Independent: “It looks like we’re in the start of the next wave and this time it’s affected older people slightly earlier than the last wave. Many people are still using the government guidelines about symptoms which are wrong.

"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.”

Professor Spector added that the UK could be in for 'real problems' this winter as data was starting to show that new subvariants of Omicron were becoming immune-evasive. In the latest UK survey, around 1.1 million people tested positive for Covid in the latest UK survey, covering the seven days to September 17 in England and the week to September 30 in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick, says two Omicron subvariants are showing signs of being able to escape the immune system. He's finding that the virus is evolving around the immunity that’s been built up through vaccines and infections people have had.

Both professors have called for stronger messaging from the Government ahead of the winter, with Professor Young advocating the return of mask-wearing in poorly ventilated and crowded indoor spaces. Meanwhile, Sarah Crofts, ONS deputy director for the Covid-19 infection survey, said it was “too early to identify whether this is the start of a new wave”.


2,440,780 people are currently predicted to have symptomatic COVID in the UK