Lorraine: Dr Hilary warns of potential rise in Covid cases

Doctor Hilary Jones has issued a warning about staying safe this winter as Covid cases in the UK have seen a slight increase.

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine, the GP urged people to get vaccinated against both coronavirus and flu for this reason.

His warning comes as the UK saw an uptick in Covid cases starting this summer, with the arrival of two new strains – Eris and Pirola.

Since then, health experts have raised concerns about other variants including JN.1 and HV.1.

Dr Hilary explained: “Covid is is on the increase again, a little bit.

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“Not as virulent as it used to be, but nevertheless, it is still sending people to hospital and people still getting ill.”

He urged eligible people to come forward for their vaccinations.

“So if you’re in the vulnerable groups, particularly if you’re over 65 or you’re younger, and you’ve got some sort of immuno-compromise issue, but it really makes sense to get that protection.

“It’s the best protection you can have right.”

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He stated that more than 10,000 people died of Covid and 14,000 died of flu last year.

“So it makes sense to get them both done,” Dr Hilary said.

You can get your flu and Covid jab at the same time. He continued: “It makes absolute sense to do that.

“It’s just as safe to do that and just as effective to do that and very convenient for everybody concerned.”

He acknowledged that respiratory illnesses at this time of year are common.

“The thing is, you know, we are going to see an increase in respiratory infections and viruses during the winter months, we always do,” he said.

But millions are still in need of their vaccinations. He said: “20 million people have been invited to come forward.

“11.4 million have had their jabs but the others need to get them done.”

However, you need to get booking soon to ensure you get your vaccination.

Dr Hilary added: “The NHS booking system closes on the 15th of December. So the last day you can book online or with the app, or the phone line is the 14th of December.

“So, get it booked. My advice is to get it done and you’re protected, it’s the best protection you can get.”

Symptoms of Covid to look for include:

  • A high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your Chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • An aching body
  • A headache
  • A sore throat
  • A blocked or runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick or being sick.

If you experience symptoms, the NHS recommends staying home and avoiding contact with others for five days.

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