Is it Covid or a cold? Nothing is clear about the symptoms this winter


The common cold has made a comeback after lying passively in lockdown or constrained by Covid-19 restrictions last winter.

Ps and pharmacists report an increase in patients with sore throats and coughs.

Now we’re mixing more, and our immune systems may be making us more susceptible to colds after being protected for so long.

But could it be Covid? How do you know you have the ‘non-Covid cold’?

onset of winter

Predictions say more of us may need to go to bed with a hot drink this winter as more non-Covid viral diseases strike.

The latest numbers from the Health Protection Surveillance Center (HPSC) show that GPs saw an increase in patients with respiratory symptoms in the week ended October 10. There is no evidence of flu yet, but a cold is recognized.

fault of immunity

There are fears that winter viruses – separate from Covid-19 – could spread like wildfire in the coming months.

This is due to what is known as “immunity debt”. Most of us would have expected exposure to a cold virus over the past few months, but this winter we have fewer of those defenses.

Soldierly on

Before Covid-19, it was ingrained in us over the years to try to show up for work anyway, even when we were feeling under the weather. For those who are not self-employed or self-employed, the time off continues to present financial difficulties.

The instinct was also to send a child to school with mild cold symptoms.

But leaving home with possible Covid-19-like symptoms has been compared to driving under the influence of alcohol in terms of social unacceptability. Never before has fighting a cold – which could possibly be Covid – become so important.

Fully vaccinated

Fully vaccinated people with Covid-19 vaccinations have better protection against infection but can still contract and transmit the Covid-19 virus.

The deputy chief physician Dr. Ronan Glynn said if anyone has symptoms, including a high temperature, dry cough or flu symptoms, they should get tested and stay home. He said: “Don’t assume that because you’re vaccinated you can’t get Covid-19.”

Runny nose

The HSE advice on children is that they can go to school as long as they have a runny nose or sneeze. But if you are sick or out of shape, you should stay at home.

There has been an increase in cases of Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in young children in recent weeks. Several had to be hospitalized. Dublin’s three children’s hospitals have been seeing a winter rate of respiratory illness in children since September.

Parents should watch for symptoms of severe infection in at-risk children, including fever with a high temperature of 100°F (37.8°C) or greater, dry cough, difficulty eating, and rapid or noisy breathing.

tell the difference

Even if people stay at home with cold symptoms, the reality is that not everyone will seek a Covid-19 test. So are there any telltale signs?

According to data from symptom-tracking app Zoe, the four main symptoms for the Delta variant are headache, sore throat, runny nose, and sneezing. Not very helpful when trying to diagnose yourself. One of these signals that it could be Covid-19 is a rapid loss of taste or smell. This usually happens early. Another sign could be a “strange sore throat that moves.”

The HSE lists fevers, including chills, a dry cough or tiredness, as possible symptoms of Covid-19. Less common symptoms include a loss or change in smell and taste, a runny or stuffy nose, or red eyes. If you are unsure, call your GP for advice. The mantra must be: “When in doubt, do a test”. Is it Covid or a cold? Nothing is clear about the symptoms this winter

Fry Electronics Team

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