Dr Nighat discusses symptoms of new Covid strain
In the early days of the pandemic many of us were aware of the telltale signs of COVID-19.
Its most distinguishing symptoms included a loss of taste and smell, a persistent cough and breathlessness.
However, since then the virus has continued to evolve, meaning the way it affects us has slightly changed.
As reported, the UK saw an uptick in Covid cases this summer linked to the arrival of the Eris and Pirola strains, which had been prevalent in the US.
She warned of three specific symptoms that are likely to appear.
Dr Zoe explained: “The most prevalent symptoms of COVID-19 have evolved over the past few years, in line with the evolution of the virus itself.
“Since the Omicron strain became the most prevalent, the typical types of symptoms of those with mild illness have included runny nose, sore throat, and cough.
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“The newer variants that we have heard about in recent months are descendants of Omicron and from what we have seen so far seem to cause similar types of symptoms.
“Some symptoms which were prevalent with earlier strains, such as loss of smell and taste, have become much less common.”
What should you do if you experience symptoms?
Dr Zoe recommended taking precautions to avoid spreading the infection to others, even if it is not clear if you have Covid or another seasonal illness.
“If you have a runny nose, sore throat, and cough, which many of us will, it is impossible to tell whether they are caused by a common cold, or Covid, or in people with more severe symptoms including fever, it could potentially be either flu or Covid,” she said.
“Therefore, it’s important that people do take precautions if they are unwell - such as hand washing, mask wearing, and being especially careful if in contact with clinically vulnerable people.”
To ease your symptoms Dr Zoe advised trying natural remedies and over-the-counter treatments.
She said: “When it comes to treating the symptoms of cough and sore throat natural remedies such as honey and over the counter treatments are recommended as first line.
“One option is Zarbee’s Cough and Sore Throat Syrups – two products one for children and one for adult – they contain pure honey which can alleviate the urge to cough (even that annoying night time cough), and ivy leaf extract helps loosen and clear mucus more easily.
“It also contains glycerol which is great for soothing and protecting the throat.”
How to protect against Covid
Keeping your immune system healthy is one way to minimise your chance of infection.
Dr Zoe said: “Having a healthy immune system will not necessarily stop you from getting COVID-19.
“But, taking good care steps of your immune system can support your overall health and help you fight off viruses like Covid, flu and the common cold.
“You can support your immune system by eating a highly nutritious diet, getting sufficient sleep and being regularly active.
“Vitamin D also plays a role in supporting our immune system and supplementation is advised in the UK winter months.”