As the virus behind COVID-19 has mutated and changed, so too have the symptoms associated with infection, and experts believe the dominant strain expected to cause a case surge this winter is no different.
While the top symptoms of previous strains have included fever, loss of smell, and a runny nose, the new most reported symptom is a sore throat.
“It looks like we’re in the start of the next wave and this time it’s affected older people slightly earlier than the last wave. Many people are still using the government guidelines about symptoms which are wrong,” said Professor Tim Spector, co-founder of the COVID ZOE app, to The Independent.
"At the moment, COVID starts in two-thirds of people with a sore throat. Fever and loss of smell are really rare now – so many old people may not think they’ve got COVID. They’d say it’s a cold and not be tested.”
Professor Spector now calls on the government to update guidelines to be in line with the trends seen in recent months in an attempt to curb the coming case spike. He states that the UK is currently “blind” to the potential issues, with a reduction in COVID-19 testing labs, an already crippled NHS, and the government’s Living with COVID plans all contributing to a damning outlook.