Coronavirus: Dr Hilary updates on second booster UK rollout
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The UK has added nine new symptoms of coronavirus to the official list, with many of these similar to symptoms of seasonal allergies, such as hay fever. From a stuffy nose to a sore throat, it might be easy to confuse symptoms of allergies for the virus. So, how can you tell the difference?
Though some of the symptoms are similar, COVID-19 has more symptoms that differ from allergies.
Previously, the NHS determined symptoms of coronavirus as:
- 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.
However, since the recent update, there are nine additional common symptoms of COVID-19, including:
- shortness of breath
- feeling tired or exhausted
- an aching body
- a headache
- a sore throat
- a blocked or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick or being sick
The NHS notes: “The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.”
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Though Covid and seasonal allergies share some symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose, there are also plenty of symptoms which differ.
According to the NHS, symptoms of hay fever include:
- sneezing and coughing
- a runny or blocked nose
- itchy, red or watery eyes
- itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
- loss of smell
- pain around your temples and forehead
- feeling tired
Experts from MayoClinic advised comparing your symptoms to the official lists.
MayoClinic explained: “Unlike COVID-19, seasonal allergies aren’t caused by a virus. Seasonal allergies are immune system responses triggered by exposure to allergens, such as seasonal tree or grass pollens.
“While COVID-19 can cause shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, seasonal allergies don’t usually cause these symptoms unless you have a respiratory condition such as asthma that can be triggered by pollen exposure.”
One of the best ways to confirm you do not have coronavirus is by taking a lateral flow or PCR test.
However, these are no longer free on the NHS, unless you fall into a specific category.
Lateral flow tests can be purchased in some pharmacies and supermarkets.
Lloyds Pharmacy, for example, is selling single tests for £1.89 or a pack of five for £9.29.
Tesco Pharmacy has also confirmed it will be selling lateral flow test kits in 1,500 stores across the UK, with prices starting at £2.
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