Portugal: Omicron subvariant drives spike in Covid-19 cases
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Covid has shape-shifted ever since it was first detected in Wuhan, China. The virus has undergone a number of mutations as it has adapted to different populations. Omicron is the latest incarnation. The variant has proven adept at evading some of the immunity conferred through vaccination. Curiously, a symptom of Covid is more likely to pop up in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated.
According to daily reports to Zoe Covid Study app, which has been monitoring the movements of the pandemic through its users, people who had been vaccinated and then tested positive for COVID-19 were “more likely” to report sternutation, more commonly known as sneezing, as a symptom compared with those without a jab.
“If you’ve been vaccinated and start sneezing a lot without an explanation, you should get a Covid test, especially if you are living or working around people who are at greater risk from the disease,” advised the Zoe team.
“Sneezing a lot could be a potential sign that someone vaccinated has COVID-19 and, however mild, should take a test and self-isolate to protect their friends, family and colleagues.”
It’s unclear why sneezing is more prevalent amongst the fully vaccinated.
But it points to a growing trend. That the symptoms of Covid differ depending on if you’ve been vaccinated, and how many doses you’ve had.
There are a few reasons why symptoms may be changing, including the fact that those who have been vaccinated experience less severe symptoms, as well as more cases being reported by younger people, who we have found experience different, less severe symptoms as well.
Vaccine efficacy appears to have blunted the impact of the symptoms of Covid and has changed the character of them as a result.
According to the Zoe Covid Study data, fewer symptoms were reported over a shorter period of time by those who had already had a jab, suggesting that they were falling less seriously ill and getting better more quickly.
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Here is the current ranking of Covid symptoms after two vaccinations:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Blocked nose
- Persistent cough
The previous “traditional” symptoms as still outlined on the Government website, such as anosmia (loss of smell), shortness of breath and fever rank way down the list, at six, 29 and eight respectively.
A persistent cough now ranks at number five if you’ve had two vaccine doses, so is no longer the top indicator of having Covid.
These results are based on vaccine records and daily symptom reports.
By logging health updates in the Zoe app, it has allowed researchers to monitor regional hotspots, and the changing symptom ranking.
The UK is bracing itself a tough winter, with the twin threats of the flu and Covid looming.
As a result, the Government launched a new country-wide marketing campaign on Monday urging millions of eligible people to get their flu and COVID-19 booster vaccines to top up their immunity.
Almost 10 million people in England have already received their boosters.
See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest
Adverts will air across television, radio, social and digital media, stressing the importance of people getting both vaccines to increase their protection this winter.
Targeted communications for individuals with long term health conditions, pregnant women and ethnic minority communities, with a particular focus on those with low vaccine confidence, will also appear, and will include examples of where vaccine uptake rates have been low in the past.
Latest COVID-19 data has shown continued high rates of cases and hospitalisations in recent weeks.
Cases of flu have climbed quickly in the past week, indicating that the season has started earlier than normal. This is leading to increased pressure on emergency departments, with rates of hospitalisations and ICU admissions rising fastest in children under five.
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