Covid Symptoms: The most common Covid symptoms now include sore throat, runny nose and cough without phlegm. These are also symptoms of common cold and flu.
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Covid and flu symptoms: (The Conversation): There is much to rejoice about this Christmas. because of vaccines and treatments covid, Significantly weakened, although not completely eradicated. Christmas The excitement, camaraderie and partying on New Year’s Eve are all back on the festive calendar. However, with the normalization of conditions, all those winter troubles have returned, which were largely one-sided due to less interaction during the last two winters. Along with Covid, countries in the northern hemisphere including the US and the UK are currently seeing a large increase in influenza, RSP (respiratory syncytial virus) and the common cold.
These high numbers of infection cases have led to an increase in the number of people being admitted to the hospital, putting a strain on health systems.
Disadvantages of not having social distance
Some talk of immunity loss because of the lockdown. This suggests that the lack of exposure to seasonal viruses during the pandemic has weakened our immune systems, leading to higher rates of some infectious diseases, especially among children in. This hypothesis is controversial as there is not enough evidence to support it at this stage. I would argue that if anything is being observed it is the disadvantages of social distancing. After two years of restrictions, data from the UK shows people are getting together a lot more in the lead up to Christmas than last year. This is because as socializing returns, so does the infection, so what should you do if you find yourself with symptoms on Christmas Day?
Cold or Covid?
In previous years, in many countries, there were laws, policies and guidance to follow about what to do if you were ill (although these were at times conflicting and confusing). This year, it’s up to personal responsibility and common sense.
I have argued before that there is no such thing as common sense about Covid – none of us have lived through a pandemic before and we are learning as we go along. Surely lockdowns and other strict social distancing rules are a thing of the past and should be. But people continue to need guidance.
Guidance on COVID is still available, for example from the World Health Organisation. Still, the first challenge is to know whether you have Covid.
How many symptoms of respiratory diseases and covid are common?
The symptoms of the new COVID variant are no longer as specific as those of the original strain (for example, persistent cough or loss of taste or smell).
The most common Covid symptoms now include sore throat, runny or blocked nose and cough without phlegm, which are also symptoms of common cold and flu.
In short, when in doubt, buy a Covid test kit. (I would argue that governments should try to make test kits free, at least during winters). The only way to know for sure whether your cough or sneeze is due to Covid is to get tested. Although Covid has been particularly devastating in the last few years, respiratory illnesses are worth preventing where possible. Overall, Covid, flu and pneumonia are still responsible for a significant proportion of all deaths in many countries, including the UK.
Protection by Elimination: The only surefire way to prevent the spread of an airborne disease is to avoid close contact with someone who is contagious. But some people may not be able to self-isolate. Maybe they need to take care of loved ones this holiday season, or they just can’t stand another Christmas alone.
Protection by Substitution: If we cannot eliminate our contacts when we are sick, we can at least try to reduce them, especially those who are medically vulnerable. It’s also a good idea to meet outside wherever possible. Outdoor carol services or Christmas markets are much less likely to spread the virus than indoor ones.
Taking safety measures: If we can’t get outside (it’s winter after all), we can at least try to keep indoor spaces well ventilated, for example by opening windows and buying portable air filters.
Precautionary protection: Where we need to meet, meeting for short periods of time and avoiding physical contact such as hugging and shaking hands when sick can help.
Protection by PPE: In many countries, mask wearing and even hand hygiene practices have decreased significantly over the past year. But they are especially important when you are sick. We can think of face masks like umbrellas, we can use them when needed.
Of course, some of these verbs can be used in conjunction, and this will depend on the context.
Doing what we reasonably can to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses may mean some personal sacrifice this Christmas if you are one of the unlucky ones to be unwell. But it will benefit your loved ones and public health more broadly.
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