Is sore throat a Covid symptom? What to look out for as experts warn of 'cold-like' signs

By Ariane Sohrabi-Shiraz

With winter approaching and lockdown restrictions easing, it's inevitable that many of us will get the sniffles.

But with people starting to meet up and mix more, it's important to be aware that Covid-19 is still around.

Most people will now be aware of the main symptoms of coronavirus to look out for.

According to the NHS, those are a new, continuous cough, a fever and loss of smell/taste.

But now more than 43 million people have been vaccinated in the UK, experts believe the symptoms have changed slightly.

Experts are now warning that those who test positive for Covid-19 after having both vaccines could experience "cold-like" symptoms.

That means additional symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, headache and sneezing could occur.

This was found by the ZOE Symptom Study App at King's College London.

Professor Tim Spector, who is an epidemiologist at King's College London is even calling for these post-vaccine symptoms to be added to the list of official symptoms.

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."

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Currently, the NHS only lists the three original symptoms of Covid on its website.

Professor Spector said 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."

This means it can be hard to tell if you have a cold, flu or Covid.

GP Dr Stephanie Colbourn says that "all these infections involve a cough, sore throat, fatigue, aches and pain".

She told Patient.info : "The key to telling the difference between them is by which symptoms are predominating."

According to Dr Colbourn, if it's just a cold the symptoms tend to "stay in the upper airways".

That means you're most likely to experience a blocked nose, sneezing and a sore throat – but feel alright otherwise.

Meanwhile, if it's Covid you're most likely to experience "a fever and dry cough" which are the main symptoms.

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Do you think more symptoms should be added to the official NHS list? Let us know in the comments below....

She added: "Another difference is that COVID-19 can cause shortness of breath and the loss of the sense of taste and smell (anosmia). These can be accompanied by fatigue, aches and pains."

Unfortunately, there is only one way to put your mind at rest.

If you suspect you have Covid-19, you can get an NHS test done.


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