BRITS must stay at home if they have ANY symptoms this winter to stop the spread of Covid, experts have warned.
People turning up to work while sick could be the driving force of an upcoming viral wave, Sage scientists think.
Scientists have urged people to stay at home if they are at all sick incase they confuse a cold with CovidCredit: LNP
They have urged the Government to tell Brits to work from home and not mingle with friends and family if they have any signs of respiratory illnesses – even if they don’t think they have Covid.
This is largely to stop the spread of the killer virus, but also to nip any extra nasty bugs in the bud to prevent extra pressures on the NHS.
Colds and winter bugs have emerged and people are now struggling to tell if they have Covid or not, as the symptoms overlap.
Another problem now is that people don’t know if their symptoms qualify getting tested for Covid.
Coughs could be a sign of all sorts of winter bugs now, single symptoms don’t immediately ring alarm bells and mild symptoms don’t cause enough of a worry.
Before winter bugs emerged it was easy to suspect Covid, but now many people will assume it’s a cold and not be as careful in their spreading.
A report by Government experts said: “Notably, the top barriers to intending to seek a test if symptomatic were ‘I know what symptoms I have and don’t believe they are Covid-19 ones’ and ‘it is unlikely I have Covid-19 because there aren’t many cases in my area’.
“Also common were ‘I’m not sure my symptoms are bad enough’ and ‘I’m not sure this symptom is one that needs testing’.
“Communication about what symptoms necessitate a test should be explicit about the exact nature of these symptoms and the need to test immediately.
“This will become ever more relevant as seasonal respiratory viruses begin to circulate.”
The best way to know for sure if you have Covid is take a lateral flow test and a PCR, and stay at home until you know you are clear.
Although even if it’s not Covid it’s sensible to stay at home anyway until you are better to avoid spreading colds and flu to others.
Avoiding Plan B being brought in hinges on the NHS not being overwhelmed with patients, and this includes those with flu and other winter viruses.
Experts have called for the official NHS list to expand the symptoms included as signs of Covid.
Currently it’s only if you have a cough, a fever or a lack of smell or taste, that you qualify for a PCR test or that it is suggested you could have Covid by the NHS.
But Delta has been shown to throw up more cold-like symptoms such as headaches, sore throats and fatigue.
Experts at the Zoe Symptom Tracker App revealed that 72 per cent of people with coronavirus experience headaches and a runny nose.
Professor Tim Spector of King’s College London and head of the app has long called for the government to update its advice on symptoms.
The 20 Covid symptoms you need to know
Here are the top 20 Covid symptoms based on data from the Zoe Symptom Tracker app and the percentage of people who have experienced them
- Headache (72 per cent)
- Runny nose (72 per cent)
- Sneezing (60 per cent)
- Sore throat (54 per cent)
- Cough (47 per cent)
- Loss of smell (46 per cent)
- Fever (43 per cent)
- Chills (35 per cent)
- Horse voice (34 per cent)
- Altered smell (34 per cent)
- Feeling dizzy (34 per cent)
- Other (34 per cent)
- Eye soreness (29 per cent)
- Brain fog (27 per cent)
- Skipped meals (26 per cent)
- Muscle pain (26 per cent)
- Chester pain (20 per cent)
- Diarrhoea (19 per cent)
- Swollen glands (18 per cent)
- Earache (18 per cent)
He said: “Nearly 50 per cent of people who test positive after a PCR test do not have the classical symptoms while infectious and I think this is really important.
“Previous studies have found fully vaccinated people infected with Delta could have the same viral load as those who are unvaccinated.”
This means that despite being protected against severe illness and death with your jabs, you are still just as likely to spread the disease.
On top of this, patients with both Covid and flu spent more than twice the length of time in hospital as those only battling Covid, the papers said.
Meaning it’s doubly important to try and keep the spread of both viruses down.
The experts wrote: “Given how common symptoms are, it should be unsurprising that the onset of a new symptom does not generally result in any interaction with the healthcare system.
“Seeking help for a symptom is instead determined by a range of factors including whether people detect physiological changes, how they interpret them, and if and how they choose to respond.
“In order to reduce transmission of influenza, the Autumn and Winter Plan also recommends that people should ‘[try] to stay at home if you are feeling unwell’ even in the absence of a positive Covid-19 test, while businesses are ‘encouraged to ask employees to stay at home if they are feeling unwell’.”
“Clear messages about the need to stay at home if you have influenza-like illness are needed.
“To be maximally effective, messages need to come from the Government, employers, universities and schools, and be accompanied by support for employees and businesses.”
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