A top professor has warned people to assume they have Covid if they wake up with two telltale symptoms.
Professor Tim Spector, founder of the Covid app Zoe, warned morning fatigue, even after a good night’s sleep, and sore throats could be signs of infection.
He added that sore throat was more commonly reported in people with coronavirus than a cold.
It comes as Covid infections in the UK rose by 7% in the week to July 14 to almost 3.8million from 3.5million the previous week, according to the Office for National Statistics. This is the highest estimate of the total number of infections since mid-April, but it remains below the record 4.9 million reached at the end of March.
If you detect both of these symptoms, you should assume it is Covid, Professor Spector wrote.
“There are twice as many Covid cases as colds these days,” he tweeted. “The ratio has never been so high.
“Symptoms are the same except generally more tiredness and sore throat – so best to assume it’s Covid!
“I hope this wave ends soon.”
Professor Spector added: “Try to pass the test if you can. If you can’t get tested, assume you have a cold and stay away from others until you feel better.
Last week he said: ‘A new study suggests that the new BA4 and BA5 variants work by evading existing immune defenses and also neutralizing some of them. It’s no surprise they’ve been so successful as cases in the UK hit record highs.
The coronavirus continues to be most prevalent in Scotland, where around 340,900 people contracted the virus in the week to July 14, around one in every 15 people.
It’s just over 334,000, or one in 16, and is the highest estimate for Scotland since early April, although the ONS describes the trend here as “uncertain”. In England, 3.1 million people likely contracted the virus in the week to July 13, or around one in 17 people. This is up from 2.9 million, or one in 19 people, a week earlier.
According to the ONS, there has been a sharp increase in the number of reinfections during the current wave of Omicron. The analysis showed that in England infection levels were higher than during the first wave of Covid, although hospital admissions during this ‘Alpha’ wave were twice as high and the number of deaths 14 times higher.
However, Professor Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said infections were likely falling because the ONS data was around two or three weeks behind schedule.
“It should be reaffirmed that the ONS infection survey primarily publishes the prevalence of Covid – that is, the proportion of the population testing positive – and a week or more after the samples on which the results are based. As people can remain positive for around 11 days after their first positive Covid result, the ONS data is always around two to three weeks behind the epidemic curve, when it comes to new infections – incidence,” said said Professor Hunter.