A leading teacher has warned people to assume they have Covid if they wake up with two telltale symptoms.
Professor Tim Spector, founder of the Covid Zoe app, warned that morning fatigue, even after a good night’s sleep, and a sore throat could be signs of infection.
He added that a sore throat was more commonly reported in people with coronavirus than a common cold.
It comes as UK Covid infections rose 7% in the week to July 14 to nearly 3.8million, up 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 spot both of these symptoms, you should assume it is Covid, Professor Spector wrote.
“There are twice as many Covid cases as common colds right now,” he tweeted. “The ratio has never been so high.
“Symptoms are pretty much the same except generally more tiredness and sore throat – so best to assume it’s Covid!
“I hope this wave will be over soon.”
Professor Spector added: “Try to get tested 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 both 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 remains most prevalent in Scotland, where an estimated 340,900 people had the virus in the week to July 14, or about one in 15 people.
This is a slight increase from 334,000, or one in 16, and it is the highest estimate for Scotland since early April, although the ONS describes the trend here as “uncertain”. In England, 3.1 million people were likely to have contracted the virus in the week to July 13, around one in 17 people. That figure is up from 2.9 million, or one person on 19, a week earlier.
According to the ONS, there has been a sharp increase in the number of reinfections during this current Omicron wave. 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 remembered that the ONS infection survey mainly publishes the prevalence of Covid – i.e. the proportion of the population who have tested positive – and a week or so later that the samples have been samples on which the results are based. Because people can stay positive for around 11 days after testing positive for Covid, the ONS data is still around two to three weeks behind the epidemic curve, when it comes to new infections – the incidence – said Professor Hunter.