There are signs the current Covid wave has crested but cases are still high. According to the latest ZOE estimates, daily symptomatic cases are hovering above 150,000. As broad swathes of the population become infected with Omicron BA.5, a common symptom is emerging.
What’s more, the symptom is being seen in those who are vaccinated, which speaks to Omicron BA.5’s enhanced ability to evade some of the antibodies induced from vaccination.
A sore throat is now a very common symptom of COVID-19 for all age groups.
On average, “seven out of ten adults who are double or triple jabbed will get a sore throat with the Omicron variant”, reported the team behind the ZOE Health Study app.
The study crunches data gathered from scores of users to the ZOE Health Study app, which has been monitoring the movements of the pandemic.
During all Covid waves, a sore throat has been an early symptom of the virus, usually appearing in the first week of illness and improving quite quickly.
It feels worse on the first day of infection but gets better on each following day.
On average, a sore throat could last five days. If your sore throat is persisting beyond this, it’s unlikely to be COVID-19.
The ZOE team found that during the earlier waves, a sore throat was most likely to occur alongside many other symptoms of COVID-19.
People reported a sore throat with varying combinations of symptoms.
Thankfully, the UK is now in an entirely different situation thanks to the deployment of vaccines.
Earlier in the pandemic, we saw higher rates of hospitalisation, depending on someone’s age and sex, especially if they had multiple different symptoms of COVID-19 in the first week of being ill.
With Omicron and vaccines, the UK is now seeing significantly fewer people getting a severe disease with fewer than two out of 100 people with Covid needing to go to hospital, the ZOE team said.
Nonetheless, you should still take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 if you suspect you have it.
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