Coronavirus mutations are placing immense pressure on the UK healthcare system and economy as hospitals face a shortage of beds and lockdown restri
Coronavirus mutations are placing immense pressure on the UK healthcare system and economy as hospitals face a shortage of beds and lockdown restrictions cannot be eased until scientists are confident the mutations are under control. The Kent variant has been spreading rapidly across the UK since December and now it has the South Africa variant to contend with. The transmissibility of these variants is inevitably driving up the ratio of symptomatic cases across the country.
The increased prevalence of symptoms means it is vital that the general public understand the full range of possible effects associated with COVID-19.
There are growing concerns that people only know the three symptoms highlighted by the NHS – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
This narrowed focus is a grave error because people may have the virus without knowing it; unwittingly spreading it instead of self-isolating.
Local health officials in Warrington, Cheshire, are mindful of this gap in knowledge and have informed the public about the symptoms that fall outside of the classic three.
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Public health leaders in the borough have listed seven other possible coronavirus symptoms.
As they pointed out, coronavirus can also cause aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, headache, a rash on the skin or discolouration of fingers or toes.
Thara Raj, Warrington’s director of public health, said: “There have been several cases where a person who has tested positive for coronavirus in Warrington has had very mild symptoms, or different symptoms to the three classic ones.
“These people, who got a test as soon as they started to feel unwell, helped us to stop the spread of the virus around Warrington.
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Raj continued: “If you have any doubts about whether you have Covid-19 symptoms, I’d urge you to get a test immediately.
“The request for people to come forward for testing is for the purposes of elimination, so you will only need to self-isolate if you are displaying the classic symptoms – a high temperature, a persistent cough and a loss of smell or taste.”
How to respond to symptoms
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus, get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
According to the NHS, if you have a high temperature, it can help to get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids (water is best) to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your pee is light yellow and clear.
The health body also recommends taking paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable.
There have been some news reports of anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen, making coronavirus worse.
The Commission on Human Medicines has now confirmed there is no clear evidence that using ibuprofen to treat symptoms such as a high temperature makes coronavirus worse