Be aware of the overlap in symptoms between colds and Covid-19

During the previous winter (2020-21), rates of colds, flu and other respiratory infections were very low across the UK because of social distancing and other infection control measures. Now that these measures have largely stopped, we are seeing an increase in respiratory infections.

The symptoms of a cold can typically include a blocked or runny nose, sore throat, headache, cough , loss of smell, sneezing and muscle aches. Many of these symptoms can also occur in people with a Covid-19 infection. Now that most adults in the UK have been fully vaccinated with two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, when people do contract Covid-19, it is often with milder symptoms that can overlap those from a cold. This means that for many people with these kinds of symptoms, a Covid-19 test will be needed to separate the two conditions.

There will be a lot of scope to confuse the symptoms of colds and Covid-19 during the winter. The message for the public should be to always be cautious if you have symptoms of a cold, get a test when appropriate, and limit interactions with people outside your household until you are better.

You can read more about this issue in this Daily Mirror article.