Is runny nose and headache Covid symptom as experts warn of 'cold-like' signs

By Sophie Law

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a high temperature, a continuous cough and a loss of taste or smell have been the top three Covid symptoms.

However, experts have been warning of 'cold-like' signs affecting those who have been double vaccinated.

The ZOE Symptom Study App, King’s College London, found that the top symptoms in fully vaccinated people are a runny nose, headache, sneezing, sore throat and loss of smell.

Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s College London, has even called for post-vaccine symptoms to be added to the NHS official list.

He said: “According to data from the ZOE COVID Study, fully vaccinated people now make up nearly 30% of positive cases.

“So it’s critical to be aware of the symptoms of Covid after vaccination.

“Our data shows post-vaccination infections are much more like a cold than the flu, with the top symptoms being runny nose, headache, sneezing, sore throat and loss of smell."

Experts are telling people to be aware of the signs of Covid-19 (Getty Images)

Calls are mounting for the NHS to update the list of Covid symptoms on its website - which still only lists the three original symptoms of a cough, fever and loss of smell and taste.

Prof Spector added in his study briefing last week: “We’re again calling on the Government to add these cold-like symptoms to their list to help educate the public and catch more cases.”

Headaches, sore throats, and runny noses are widely reported, despite the official symptom list still listing only three.

A runny nose was seen in 75% of the study's respondents, while a headache was at 73%, followed by sneezing at 67% and also a sore throat at 53%, with loss of smell next up at 51%.

Prof Spector advised people keep these symptoms in mind and keep away from other people if you have them.

"Cases are likely to remain high for the next few weeks or even possibly months,” he said. "This means your risk of infection is high.

“Even if you've been double vaccinated it's really important you watch out for any new symptoms because we can see the longer it goes from your time of vaccination the less effective these vaccines are."

Experts are telling people to stay vigilant and be aware of the signs of Covid-19 - even if you have had both doses.


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