October 27, 2021, 18:53

    ‘Worst cold ever’ sweeping the UK as expert shares what is to blame for surging cases

    ‘Worst cold ever’ sweeping the UK as expert shares what is to blame for surging cases

    Cases of the common cold are surging as experts warn low levels of natural immunity are to blame.

    Social media is seeing users increasingly talking about having caught a “Super Cold” as Covid-19 tests come back negative.

    Prof Neil Mabbott, expert at the University of Edinburgh, said: “This highlights the power of the lockdown, mask wearing, social distancing and sanitation measures introduced in response to the pandemic.

    “Not only was this very effective in reducing transmission of the coronavirus within the community, but at the same time it had the additional benefit of reducing the spread of colds and other common transmissible diseases.

    “As these measures are eased and people start mixing more indoors and travelling on public transport we can expect to see a significant rise in colds and other respiratory diseases.”

    Many people have been suffering cold symptoms lately
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    Image:
    Getty Images/Westend61)

    Retail worker Rebecca London, 24, from Bournemouth, caught what she calls “the worst cold ever” at a festival.

    A normal cold for her would have “a runny nose, sneezing, a bit of a sore throat and feeling a bit rundown”.

    “Nothing like this,” she told the BBC.

    “I barely slept, I’d wake up in the night just coughing, a constantly runny nose and feeling so tired,” she adds.

    Rebecca did lateral flow tests and got negative results, but has been ill for more than a week, and was left wondering “if it’s ever going to end”.

    Colds spread easily as people mix with others indoors
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    Image:
    Getty Images/EyeEm)

    Prof Alex Richter, of Birmingham University, said: “It is impossible to tell the difference between a cold and Covid-19 clinically.

    “They present so similarly that only PCR testing can differentiate between the two. Lateral flow testing can help with screening, but if someone has symptoms then they should go for a PCR swab test.”

    “It is unlikely we are seeing the circulation of a 'Super Cold',” Prof Mabbott added.

    “Rather our immune systems have had limited exposure to colds over the past 18 months, so our immunity to these diseases will have waned during this period and will be less effective against colds than would be expected normally.”

    Prof Alan McNally, is Professor of Microbial Evolutionary Genomics at the University of Birmingham and was Infectious Disease lead at the Milton Keynes Lighthouse Lab.

    He said: “If you have any symptoms of respiratory infection you should stay at home to prevent transmission and get a test done for Covid-19 to rule in or out.

    "Trying to self-diagnose is a sure fire way to send Covid-19 case rates soaring again.”

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    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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