The number of Covid hospitalisations has gone up in recent weeks, prompting the Covid autumn booster vaccines to be brought forward.
The spike in case numbers is said to have been caused by a new variant of the virus, a variant of Omicron which has been nicknamed ‘Pirola’. A GP recently warned the Covid variant is “widespread”.
According to Dr Johannes Uys, a General Practitioner (GP) working at Broadgate General Practice in London, to avoid Pirola spreading further, the best thing to do is stay at home and try to avoid contact with others, especially those at high risk.
He added: “Current guidance states you should try to stay home for at least five days if you are over 18, or three days if you are under 18, and you should avoid contact with people at high risk of becoming seriously ill for at least 10 days.
“If people with symptoms don’t isolate, they will likely pass on the virus to others.
“Of course, the more people have the virus, the more likely it is that it will spread exponentially and then measures such as masks will be reintroduced, especially in certain settings.”
Dr Uys said it’s unlikely that any measures will be as rigid as they were a couple of years ago, as more people have had the virus and/or been vaccinated against it, providing some degree of immunity.
But added: “We’ll have to see how things pan out in the next few months.”
While people are no longer required to do a Covid test, people may find it helpful to know if they have the virus or not, as it can be useful for you to plan how you will isolate and look after yourself.
Dr Uys advised: “If you are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid, it’s a good idea to test for it.”
Current Covid symptoms are said to be similar to those of flu or colds.
Dr Uys highlighted three symptoms:
- High temperature
- A new, continuous cough
- Loss or change to your sense of taste and/or smell
He added some people may also feel achy and tired, and have a sore throat or a headache.