Thousands of triple vaccinated Britons reporting same Covid symptom
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Thousands of triple-vaccinated people infected with Covid are reporting experiencing symptoms that affect their everyday activities “a lot”, new research has found. The four main “cold-like” symptoms affecting them include sneezing and a hoarse voice.
Researchers at Imperial College London have collected the experiences of 17,000 of people – vaccinated and unvaccinated – who tested positive for Covid between May 2020 and March 2022.
The data was collected as part of the Real-Time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) study.
They’ve found that with every variant, the proportion of people reporting any symptoms has increased.
In particular, they found that over 5,000 vaccinated people who were infected with recent strains of Covid suffered symptoms that affected their day-to-day.
They wrote in their study: “In a subgroup of 5,598 double- and triple-vaccinated swab-positive individuals with [Omicron] BA.1 or BA.2, those infected with BA.2 were 54% more likely to report symptoms that interfered with their ability to carry out day-to-day activities ‘a lot’”
The people in this group reported four specific symptoms that they experienced. These were all “cold-like” symptoms: runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, and hoarse voice.
BA.1 was the first Omicron variant that appeared around November 2021 in South Africa.
Today, a new variant called BQ1 is becoming the dominant variant. But the study suggests that symptoms might not settle down with the change in variants.
It found that the BA.2 variant caused 75.9 percent of people infected to have symptoms. This is compared to 70 percent for BA.1, 63.8 percent for the Delta variant, and 54.7 percent for the Alpha variant.
Other research has suggested that thousands of vaccinated people are still experiencing many of the symptoms reported in the REACT study.
The ZOE Health study, which collects the reports of people with Covid through a mobile app, found that sore throat is the most common symptom for fully vaccinated people.
This is the ZOE Health study ranking of the most common symptoms for people with two vaccinations:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Blocked nose
- Persistent cough
Professor Paul Elliott, Director of the REACT programme, said: “Our study has shown that symptoms from COVID-19 have changed over two years of the pandemic as different variants of the virus have become dominant.
“This is against a background of changing immunity from prior infection and vaccination.
“Understanding these changing symptom profiles may help in identifying individuals who are at higher risk of transmission of the virus.”
The “top” symptoms of Covid are similar for those who are unvaccinated. The ZOE Health study listed these as the top symptoms for the unvaccinated:
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
- Persistent cough
The BQ1 variant of Omicron has been found in roughly around half of the Covid cases in the UK.
According to Professor Stephen Powis, medical director of the NHS, the NHS is expecting this to be the “most challenging winter yet” for the health body.
Among the reasons, he cited the increase in patients with Covid and the presence of BQ1.
He said: “In some countries in Europe that have it you can already see growth in hospital admissions. No doubt these pressures will increase.”
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