Deaths from lockdown may exceed those from Covid says expert

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Covid infections and hospitalisations are climbing, with figures suggesting suspected outbreaks rose 61 percent last week. According to the Zoe Covid app, this means Covid infections are twice as high as the common cold. One expert says the latest outbreak is causing two symptoms in a significant portion of people.

According to Professor Tim Spector, fatigue and sore throat may be sure indicators a person has Covid.

The founder of the Covid Zoe app warned that fatigue may be pronounced in the morning, even after a good night’s sleep.

He wrote: “There are twice as many Covid cases as common colds currently, the ratio has never been so high.

“Symptoms are much the same except generally more fatigue and sore throat – so best to assume it’s Covid!

“Hopefully, this wave will be soon,” he remarked, adding that it was important to get tested when possible.

“If you can’t get tested, assume you’ve got a cold and stay away from other people until you feel better.”

A great number of cases fuelling the current Omicron wave are believed to be reinfections.

The highest case rate is currently in Plymouth, which recorded 376 new positive cases in the seven days to Thursday, October 6.

Doctor Ruth Harrell, Plymouth’s director of public health, said the latest figures emphasised a pressing need for the public to be more mindful.

Doctor Harrell noted: “We are seeing increasing rates of COVID-19 across the country through the national survey and through people who are tested on admission to hospital.

“We expected to see rates increase again this winter, partly because we are more likely to meet indoors with less ventilation as it gets colder and partly because we are now getting used to the idea that COVID-19 comes in waves.”

Researchers have also warned influenza cases may be significantly higher this year, as a result of lower immunity across the population.

The co-circulation of Covid and the flu could put vulnerable people at substantially higher risk of severe illness and death.

People in vulnerable groups, which also include those with co-morbidities and pregnant women are advised to get doubly vaccinated against influenza and Covid.

Despite reducing the death toll of the virus, they only top up immune defences for a limited period of time before antibody levels drop again.

Protection against severe disease and death will remain, but having lower antibodies could increase susceptibility to reinfections.

The latest surge appears to be driven by the Omicron variants of the virus, which spread more easily than the original strains, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, data continues to show hospitalisations to be low compared to earlier in the pandemic.

It had been pointed out earlier this year that the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants appeared capable of eluding immunity offered by the vaccination.

According to the CDC, however, the presence and severity of symptoms can be affected by vaccination, history of prior infection, age and other health conditions.

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