AS the summer months come to a close and a winter breeze sweeps in, it's likely many of us will start to get the sniffles.
Cold and flu symptoms are common as the weather gets colder, but as coronavirus is still present in society – it's important to know the difference between the illnesses.
Some coronavirus symptoms are similar to a cold and flu, such as a new cough or a high temperature.
The three main coronavirus symptoms are a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell.
Anyone with these symptoms should get a test and self isolate immediately to avoid spreading the virus.
However, as the virus has mutated and become widely spread, many people have reported other symptoms – such as a sore throat and sneezing.
People with a cold often feel congested and bunged up – which can also have an impact on our ability to taste food.
Chronic inflammation of the nasal linings can sometimes lead to a loss of taste – this along with a loss of smell, is another key symptom of the coronavirus.
But many people who have contracted the coronavirus have no symptoms at all and some suffer other ailments due to the virus.
Symptoms of Covid have been found to be different in people who have received their vaccines and one expert recently said these symptoms are more like a common cold or flu.
Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s College London, said: “According to data from the ZOE COVID Study, fully vaccinated people now make up nearly 30 per cent of positive cases.
“So it’s critical to be aware of the symptoms of Covid after vaccination.
“Our data shows post-vaccination infections are much more like a cold than the flu, with the top symptoms being runny nose, headache, sneezing, sore throat and loss of smell.
The Delta variant – which is now the most common in the UK and has also swept the US -can also make it difficult for you to distinguish whether your symptoms are a cold or Covid.
According to Louisiana State Health Officer Joe Kanter, although the Delta variant still shows up with classic Covid symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, and fever, other symptoms could be mistaken for a common cold or even just allergies.
Kanter said: “You can present with relatively mild symptoms that you can easily confuse for allergies or something that you picked up from your kid who is in daycare, all of those things.
"If you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, even if it is a sore throat, even if it is a runny nose, even if it is sinus congestion, go get yourself tested and limit your contact with other people until you do so.”
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
Dr Belinda Griffiths from The Fleet Street Clinic in London explained the difference between a common cold and Covid-19.
Dr Griffiths said symptoms of a common cold include: sneezing, running nose and a sore throat.
In most cases of a cold – Dr Griffiths said you won't develop a high temperature – which is one of the NHS's key Covid symptoms to look out for.
Dr Griffiths said: "Fever chills and muscle aches rarely occur in the common cold, but can happen.
"With a common cold you can usually expect to see an improvement after less than a week, although this can vary."
Dr Griffiths said that when it comes to Covid-19, the differentiating symptoms from those of a common cold will help you when it comes to what steps and precautions to take.
She said: "These symptoms include the loss of smell and taste, a persistent temperature of greater than 37.8C, General malaise and fatigue, possibly with muscle pains and headaches.
"One of the most common signs of Covid-19 is a new persistent cough.
"Should your cough be producing coloured mucus or if you are experiencing shortness of breath this should always warrant a medical check, but especially if you suffer from Asthma or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)".
KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
While adults are known to suffer from the symptoms mentioned above- experts at King's College London previously said that kids had different symptoms to adults.
Dr Griffiths said it should be easy to spot whether or not your child has Covid-19 or a cold and kids who contract the coronavirus are "more likely to present with diarrhoea than adults".
She said: "If your child is acutely unwell and is displaying the above symptoms then never delay in seeking medical help.
"This also goes for patients of any age with a persistent productive cough, who is short of breath, with or without a temperature.
"If you are experiencing any of the above do not delay in asking for medical opinion."
She added: "To sum up, if you have a new continuous cough, a persistent fever, loss of sense of taste and smell as well as a headache you should be tested for Covid-19 as soon as possible."
The World Health Organisation (WHO) listed aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, a rash on skin and discolouration of fingers or toes as less common symptoms of coronavirus.
CORONAVIRUS SYPTOMS IN KIDS & FULLY VACCINATED
SYMPTOMS IN KIDS
Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London said children are suffering from around five symptoms that are not consistent with those adults are experiencing.
Experts say parents should look out for the following symptoms in children.
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
SYMPTOMS IN FULLY VAXXED ADULTS
Top symptoms in fully vaccinated people
Runny nose: 75 per cent
Headache: 73 per cent
Sneezing: 67 per cent
Sore throat: 53 per cent
Loss of smell: 51 per cent
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