New Covid-19 symptoms explained – from tiredness to fever

 

More insight is shared concerning the dreaded new covid-19, or what is known as mutant virus symptoms.

The Sun news says that New strain of Covid-19 has been found in the UK, with experts claiming that the new mutation has been found in over 1,000 cases.

With London, parts of the South East and the East of England all being plunged into Tier 4 restrictions, here are the official symptoms of coronavirus, which include a new persistent cough, a loss of taste and smell and a high temperature.

Mutations are normal in viruses like Covid-19, but some have questioned if vaccine efforts could be dampened by the new strain as scientists scramble to learn more about the mutation.

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty said that symptoms of the new strain, which has been found in over 1,000 cases, aren't any different to the strain already circulating across the whole country.

Scientists agree that the virus affects different people in various ways and what has become clearer as the pandemic has unfolded are the signs to look out for.

The NHS lists the three main coronavirus symptoms as:

A new, continuous cough - where you cough a lot for more than an hour, or have three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours

Fever - where your temperature is above 37.8C

Loss of smell or taste - this is also known as anosmia

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tiredness is also one of the more common symptoms of Covid-19.

The WHO lists the less common symptoms as:

Aches and pains

Sore throat

Diarrhoea

Conjunctivitis

Headache

A rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes


It can take around five or six days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however in some cases it can take up to two weeks.

Some people who catch the corona virus may also be asymptomatic - this means that they don't show any of the main symptoms.

While the above symptoms are the most common - other people have experienced a range of other symptoms and they are differ in children.

Prof Whitty said while the symptoms of the new strain are thought to be the same as others, Public Health England are still analysing the new strain in order to garner more information on its spread and how it will impact vaccine production.

Dr Julian Tang, Honorary Associate Professor/Clinical Virologist, University of Leicester said the spread of the new strain could be down to many reasons.

He added: "This is quite normal for viruses – like influenza – where different viruses may infect the same person, leading to a hybrid virus emerging.  This is just one of the ways that natural viral variation arises.

"It makes no sense for the virus to kill its host – rather better for it to replicate to high levels in the host, causing few symptoms – so that the host can stay mobile and appear well (asymptomatic) – to allow it to mingle further with those who are still susceptible – and spread its genes further."

The virus develops differently in people and there are others symptoms that people have displayed such as hair loss.

The condition know as telogen effluvium (TE), is when a person temporarily experiences hair loss.

Doctors have said that this usually occurs if a patient has recently experienced a stressful situation. TE occurs when the number of the follices in the scalp changes.

It usually affects the top of the scalp and in most cases the hair line will not recede if someone experiences TE.

Researchers have also previously found that neurological symptoms were present in 36 per cent of patients with Covid-19 in Wuhan, China - the epicentre of the pandemic.

In particular, doctors say those with severe corona virus who are admitted to hospital often develop an acute brain condition called “ICU delirium".

MORE TO LEARN

Experts urged the public the stay calm and said that mutations of a virus like Covid-19 are to be expected.

Dr Zania Stamataki, Viral Immunologist, University of Birmingham said mutations will accumulate and lead to new virus variants, pushed by our own immune system to change or perish.

She added: “This virus doesn’t mutate as fast as influenza and, although we need to keep it under surveillance, it will not be a major undertaking to update the new vaccines when necessary in the future.

"This year has seen significant advances take place, to build the infrastructure for us to keep up with this corona virus.”

Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome added that there is still a lot to learn from Covid-19.

"The pressure on the virus to evolve is increased by the fact that so many millions of people have now been infected.

"Most of the mutations will not be significant or cause for concern, but some may give the virus an evolutionary advantage which may lead to higher transmission or mean it is more harmful."

FASTER SPREAD

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs the variant may be fuelling the “faster spread” in South East England.

London, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire had been moved into Tier 3 to cope with the “very sharp, exponential rises” in cases.

Then over the weekend, London, Kent and parts of the East of England were pushed into Tier 4 restrictions - as cases continue to rise.

The numbers of cases linked with the latest mutation are growing "rapidly", Mr Hancock said, as he urged everyone to stick to the Covid restrictions.

It has been named VUI – 202012/01 – the first variant under investigation in December.

In a statement, Mr Hancock told the Commons: “Initial analysis suggests that this variant is growing faster than the existing variants.

“We’ve currently identified over 1,000 cases with this variant predominantly in the South of England although cases have been identified in nearly 60 different local authority areas.

“And numbers are increasing rapidly.”

VACCINE WORRRIES

Mr Hancock said the "latest clinical advice is that it’s highly unlikely that this mutation would fail to respond to a vaccine".

The vaccine being rolled out in the NHS - from Pfizer and BioNTech - would not have been tested to see if it protects against this new strain.

But all Covid-19 jabs that have been developed focus on the same target - the spike protein on the surface of the virus.

The spike is what the virus uses to latch onto human cells, invade and replicate.

It cannot be ruled out that if a new mutation of the virus that changes this spike, it would affect the efficacy of a vaccine.

If the spike looks different in appearance, the body may not recognise it as Covid-19, and quickly mount an immune response.

Prof Wendy Barclay, head of the Department of Infectious Disease, Imperial College London, said: “This variant contains some mutations in Spike protein that is the major target of vaccines, and it will be important to establish whether they impact vaccine efficacy by performing experiments in the coming weeks.”

However, Dr Pankhania told Sky News: "I am very confident that we won't have to refashion our vaccines, because what we are looking at is a large spike protein.


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