Concerns have grown as new outbreaks of the highly transmissible omicron variant cause an increase in cases in countries around the world.
There have been reports of omicron’s relatives XBB and XBB.1.5 in several countries, including the UK, so British health officials have urged adoption of Covid-19 vaccines and other protections against the virus.
Earlier this month, the UKHSA (the UK Health Security Agency) advised Britons to stay home if feeling unwell or to wear a face mask when out in a bid to stem the risk of a new wave of coronavirus.
The UKHSA then warned that COVID-19 and influenza were “currently circulating at high levels”, something that was likely to continue to increase in the coming weeks.
The XBB.1.5 variant of covid-19 is believed to be behind at least 4% of infections currently being sequenced. In October 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there was preliminary evidence to suggest that XBB has a higher risk of reinfection, compared to other circulating sub-variants of omicron.
The new Omicron outbreak could be the new variant “to watch…in 2023,” warned Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and founder of the ZOE Health Study app.
As covid-19 continues to spread at a high speed in the UK, the ZOE Project Analysisseen by The Independentreveals that in the 30 days to January 3, 2023, sore throat was the most common symptom reported by participants.
The ZOE app allows infected people to report their symptoms through an app while they are presumed to have the virus in order to gain a better understanding of covid-19 and its progression. The data provided is then analyzed by King’s College London, which tracks infections across the UK and identifies those most at risk.
Here are the top 10 symptoms reported in the past month:
- Sore throat: 57.3%
- Nasal obstruction: 57.8%
- Nasal secretions: 55.5%
- Sneezing: 52%
- Cough without sputum: 50.7%
- Headache: 49.6%
- Coughing up phlegm: 47.3%
- Hoarse voice: 41.4%
- Muscle pain: 24.7%
- Odor change: 22.32%
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