BRITS coming down with Covid are most likely to experience a sore throat, as the new 'Kraken' strain spreads across the country.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it's concerned about the XBB.15 strain.
In the UK, cases are low and the Omicron spin-off makes up less than five per cent of positive tests being recorded.
Data from the Sanger Institute states that the strain is responsible for up to half of all Covid cases on the Wirral – one of the hardest hit areas, the surveillance centre says.
The dominant strain in the UK is the BQ.1 – an offshoot of BA.5, which is a close ancestor to the original Omicron strain that emerged last winter.
Cases of the 'Kraken' variant have almost doubled in a week in the US, with a high prevalence of infections being reported in New York.
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With experts worried about the spread of the illness it's key to understand the symptoms that are currently doing the rounds.
Fresh data from the ZOE Health Study found that there are ten symptoms Brits are experiencing the most.
- Sore throat – 57.34%
- Blocked nose – 57.08%
- Runny nose – 55.59%
- Sneezing – 52.07%
- Cough no phlegm – 50.73%
- Headache – 46.62%
- Cough with phlegm – 47.32%
- Hoarse voice – 41.4%
- Muscle pains aches – 24.71%
- Altered smell – 22.32%.
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These symptoms reflected cases logged by Brits in the week up to January 3.
While the selection of symptoms hasn't changed in the last month, a blocked nose has become more prevalent in Brits testing positive for the illness.
The strain currently in circulation though has found to be milder than others.
And the mammoth rollout of vaccines across the UK has meant many already have some level of protection from the bug.
On Wednesday morning Professor Lawrence Young from the University of Warwick said we need to be 'keeping an eye' on Covid cases in the UK amid a the XBB1.5 variant.
"It’s significant because it’s spreading so rapidly, we are seeing a whole slew at the moment of different Omicron variants, indeed that’s what’s causing the spread of Covid in this country.
"This particular variant is unusual in that it’s spreading so rapidly – and in fact towards the end of December the number of cases with this particular variant in the US more than doubled in a week and that’s why we’re very concerned," he said.
The Sun has been urging Brits to protect against both Covid and flu, as part of its “Do the Double” campaign with a good degree of success.
Latest NHS figures show there are 9,459 hospital patients with Covid and 4,128 with flu.
The total of 13,587 is 13 per cent of all available ward beds — one in every eight.
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So far, nine million Brits are still due a Covid booster.
If you are eligible you can book a Covid-19 vaccination online through the NHS website for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy.
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