AS COLD and flu season approaches this year many of us will start to experience a sniffle here and a cough there.
The coronavirus pandemic has meant we are more focused on our health than ever and experts have stated that it can be difficult to distinguish a cold from Covid-19.
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Anyone can be infected by coronavirus and while older Brits and those with underlying health problems are at greatest risk, it is vital everyone knows the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
In the UK over 41,000 people have died from the coronavirus and a recent rise in cases has prompted worries that a second wave could hit the UK.
Some experts however claimed that there is no second wave and that a rise in case is due to comprehensive testing.
Kids have returned to school and while many offices still remain empty, most of the UK is open for business.
Experts warned there is bound to be some nervousness around the virus and people need to be able to distinguish between whether or not they just have a sniffle or if they have contracted Covid-19.
Speaking to Metro, chief medical officer at DoctorLink, Ben Littlewood-Hilson said older people really need to look after themselves during this period.
"It’s important to remember that a common cold is a coronavirus – just not Covid-19.
"Other strains of coronavirus are actually quite common, but they have milder symptoms."
The most common symptoms of the coronavirus are:
- new continuous cough, and/or a high temperature
- loss of taste and smell
For most people, the virus will cause a mild infection.
While some patients may also experience shortness of breath, experts have warned that there are a myriad of symptoms associated with the virus.
Scientists have also said that symptoms in children are different and said parents should look out for a loss of appetite.
Data from King's College London revealed that 52 per cent of school aged kids who tested positive for virus did not log classic adult symptoms.
The data is based on analysis from 198 children who tested positive and around 15,800 negative tests.
Of the 198 children who tested positive 55 per cent suffered from fatigue.
The second top symptom was a headache with 53 per cent suffering, fever is next with 49 per cent suffering with this, 38 per cent suffered with a sore throat and 35 per cent suffered with a loss of appetite.
It also found that 15 per cent of kids who test positive also present with an unusual skin rash.
How is it spread?
Covid-19 is a new disease and as a result scientists are still working to fully understand it.
Since the start of the crisis experts have found various treatments for the virus but a vaccine has still not been developed.
Experts believe it is spread via droplets produced when you cough or sneeze, as well as via touching and shaking hands.
When those infected droplets land on surfaces or body parts, a healthy person can pick up the virus and become infected.
How does Covid-19 differ from flu or a common cold?
The symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to other respiratory illnesses.
However, with flu, symptoms are likely to come on much quicker.
The NHS states the signs of flu include:
- a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
- an aching body
- feeling tired or exhausted
- a dry cough
- a sore throat
- a headache
- difficulty sleeping
- loss of appetite
- diarrhoea or tummy pain
- feeling sick or being sick
However, research by experts at King's College University found that several symptoms that are consistent with the flu and also consistent with the coronavirus.
Scientists said patients on the Covid Symptom Tracker app have been reporting a wide rage of symptoms from confusion, headaches, muscle pains and fatigue.
Earlier in the year American health officials also added diarrhoea to its list of confirmed coronavirus symptoms.
TOP FIVE CORONAVIRUS SYMTPOMS IN KIDS
Experts say parents should look out for the following symptoms in their kids.
- Sore throat
- loss of appetite
In May the Centre for Disease Control added nausea, diarrhoea and a runny nose to its list of symptoms.
Dr Ravi Tomar, a GP at the Portland Medical Practice in Croydon said the common cold has always presented the same way in each yearly cycle.
He added that the majority of the illness effects the upper airways and that it was less common to have body aches if you have a cold.
But with the flu, he said symptoms generally effect the whole body.
He did however stress that if you think you have the coronavirus you should seek medical help and a test.
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