“I’ve been full of cold for the last few days. First one in over two years and its a doozy!”
“Two weeks now and it’s not funny at all. First cold I’ve had in years and it’s floored me.”
“I’ve been suffering from a cold all week so coughing my guts up. I can assure you it’s NOT Covid!”
“My entire family also has the cold.”
Any of these sound familiar? They were all posts on Facebook and Twitter in the last week, as the ‘worst cold ever’ sweeps the UK, reports the Mirror.
READ MORE:Who is eligible for a flu vaccine, how to get one, and what to do if you’re not eligible
As people continue to socialise without restrictions for the first time properly since March 2020, the propensity for seasonal illnesses to spread is particularly high.
Illnesses are spreading particularly fast because our immune systems remain low as a result of lockdowns and social distancing lowering our natural immunity, health experts have said.
So it might come as no surprise that many people are getting ill.
According to The Mirror, the illness being experienced by many Brits has been dubbed the ‘ worst lurgy ever ‘, with people experiencing ‘horrible symptoms’ as a result.
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The illness is leaving people with a sandpaper throat, chesty cough and runny nose that’s reportedly difficult to shift.
Dr Philippa Kaye, a GP based in London, said that numbers have already been as high as you’d see in a normal winter.
Several social media users have spoken about the intense illness, with one writing: “I have succumbed to the cold going around London at the moment,” before adding: “Were they always this bad or am I just not used to it?”
Another Londoner wrote that they were “out for a week!” due to the cold as one Twitter user described it as “grim!”
Even visitors to London are not immune to the illness, as one social media user wrote: “Even outside COVID I only have a cold every 12-18 months or so. 24 hours in London and I’ve got the sniffles.”
Kaye told the BBC: “We’ve actually been seeing a rise in the number of coughs and colds and viral infections.
“We are mixing in a way that we haven’t been mixing over the past 18 months.
“During those first lockdowns, we saw numbers of other [non-Covid] infections fall. We think that that was primarily due to the restrictions on meeting up.”
Don’t mistake a cold for Covid
If it is just a cold, your symptoms can be managed at home.
However, because Covid-19 continues to circulate in the UK and share many of the same symptoms, it’s important to rule that out.
ZOE, the world’s largest ongoing study into Covid-19, said: “A negative result from a lateral flow test is not reliable enough to be sure you’re definitely not infected, so if your symptoms persist it’s best to get a PCR test to be sure.”
If you have a new and continuous cough a fever (temperature above 37.8C) or you have noticed a change to your sense of taste or smell you must get a Covid PCR test immediately.
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