Great Britain

What are the symptoms of new Covid strains? The 6 signs to watch for

AS the coronavirus continues to spread across the world it has also mutated and there are now three significant new variants of the virus.

Experts have warned the UK variant, which was first discovered in the South of England is up to 70 per cent more infectious, which is why it's more important than ever that you know the signs.

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It was also revealed earlier this week that in addition to the UK variant being more transmissible - it is also more deadly.

Researchers concluded the new strain is between 29 and 91 per cent more likely to kill infected Brits - with three different studies showing very different results.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said it could be 1.35 times more deadly, Imperial College London said it was between 1.36, or 1.29 (depending on the method used), and the University of Exeter found it may be 1.91 times more deadly.

Experts also revealed this week that the South African strain could also be more deadly.

Nervtag scientists said today they had done some analysis on data in South Africa, finding “a hint of increased mortality”.

But they cautioned there has not been detailed research into the mortality of the South African variant, as there has been with the Kent one, so they cannot be confident in the finding.

The third variant originates in Brazil and has now spread to the US.

It also is considered to be rather resilient to the coronavirus vaccine.

After the new variants were detected Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty said that symptoms aren't any different to the strain already circulating across the UK.

Scientists agree that the virus affects different people in various ways and what has become clearer as the pandemic has unfolded are the signs to look out for.

As the country continues to battle with a rise in coronavirus infections it's important to know the official symptoms of Covid-19.

1. New persistent cough

The NHS states that one of the three key coronavirus symptoms is a new persistent cough.

This is defined as coughing a lot for more than an hour or three or more coughing episodes in a day.

If you usually have a cough then it will be much worse that your usual cough and it's likely to be more frequent.

2. Loss of taste and smell

In May 2020 Public Health England (PHE) added anosmia to the official list of Covid-19 symptoms, falling in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Many people who contract the virus reported being unable to taste their food or smell things - this is known as anosmia.

Andrew Robson, ENT Consultant at North Cumbria Integrated Care said: “It has been known for some time that viruses can cause anosmia, and this can last for considerable lengths of time.

"Anosmia also affects the sense of taste and is understandably quite distressing, affecting an individual's appreciation of food and drink among other pleasurable scents.

“This condition also potentially gives rise to dangerous situations, such as an inability to detect gas leaks, fire or spoilt food.”

3. High temperature

Another key symptom of Covid-19 is a high temperature.

This means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back and the NHS states that you don't need to measure your temperature with a thermometer in order to check it.

If you do measure your temperature - a high reading would be classed as anything above 38C.

A high temperature is usually caused by your body fighting infection.

If you have any of the three main symptoms as stated above then you should get a test and isolate.

But some testing centres are now also offering tests to asymptomatic patients and almost one third of people who have the virus don't have an signs.

4. Tiredness

Tiredness isn't one of the main coronavirus symptoms listed by the NHS but many people are left feeling fatigued when they contract the virus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists tiredness as another key coronavirus symptom.

Many people who contract the virus say they don't feel as though they have the energy to undertake every day tasks in the same way that they could before.

5. Headache

The WHO also lists headaches as a common symptom and this is also one of the main symptoms in children, according to the ZOE Symptom Tracker App.

The study found that 53 per cent of children who contracted the virus also suffered from headaches.

6. Rash

Many people who have contracted Covid-19 have also developed a skin rash.

In some cases this is seen on the back and arms, and others have developed conditions such as "Covid-toes" due to the inflammation caused by the virus.

While the ZOE study didn't suggest a rash was one of the five main symptoms in children - it did state that 15 per cent of kids who test positive also present with an unusual skin rash.

Just last week one nurse shared shocking pictures of her 17-month-old son's rash which she says was caused by Covid.

Jade Roberts said that her son Bertie had first developed a runny nose before the rash started.

She said the rash spread to his cheeks, ears, knees and stomach.

The WHO also states that the below symptoms are all less common symptoms that people who contract Covid could suffer from.

The main five symptoms in children are:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Headache
  3. Fever
  4. Sore throat
  5. Loss of appetite

The Department of Health and Social Care last week said that "an expert and independent scientific group keeps the list of symptoms of Covid-19 under constant review as our understanding of the virus continues to evolve".

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