Next pandemic could be ‘more lethal’, warns scientist behind the Oxford jab

People with cold-like symptoms should work from home and avoid Christmas parties in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus, according to Tim Spector, from the Covid Zoe app – which tracks infections across the UK. 

The professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London told Times Radio that between one in three and one in four colds are actually caused by Covid, and said Britain should be “much more open minded” about asking people with cold-like symptoms to isolate for “at least a few days”. 

“At the moment, we’re estimating that somewhere between one and three and one in four colds are actually due to Covid,” Prof Spector said. “And so that’s quite a high rate of people that are currently not even bothered to get a lateral flow test, or getting a PCR test, going to parties and spreading it around.

“So if that transfers to Omicron then we’re going to be compiling that problem much faster than we would need to.”

He added: “We want to tell people that if you don’t feel well that day, don’t go out, don’t go to work, work from home, because the start of that sniffle, the start of that sore throat, that headache could be a mild dose of Covid that is just breaking through your vaccine.”

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