A new strain of coronavirus, known as the South African variant, has been detected in the UK – and now there are fears about it spreading further.
With the Covid-19 vaccine brining hope of a return to normality, it’s incredibly important to continue to stop the mutant virus from spreading and wreaking further havoc.
Public health officials are urging people to be aware of and get tested if they spot the early warning signs of coronavirus.
These extend far beyond the three Covid-19 symptoms outlined by the NHS, which are a new continuous cough, fever and loss of taste and smell.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should of course stay at home and book a coronavirus test. But Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health and wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, is urging people who live in particular areas to get tested if they have other symptoms too.
He said: “If you live in Preston or West Lancashire and you’re feeling under the weather, please get a Covid test.
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the three classic symptoms of a fever, loss of taste or smell, or a cough – even a headache could be an indication you may have this mutation.”
Public health officials have listed nine additional symptoms and is urging anyone who is experiencing them to get a PCR test.
The nine additional symptoms are:
- A persistent headache
- Fever and chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Liverpool, said: “We need to do everything we can to continue the success we have had in recent weeks in stopping the spread of the virus and getting the infection rate down.
“We are concerned that people may not think they have Covid because they are not displaying the classic symptoms and, as a result, could be unwittingly spreading the infection to others.
“The virus is changing all the time, so it is essential that we redouble our efforts so we stay one step ahead of it, and we know some people have been testing positive with other symptoms.”