What covid symptom you should look out for as two omicron sub variants reported in UK
According to experts there is one specific covid symptoms people should now be looking out for.
This is in addition to the main three which are a new, continuous cough, a fever as well as a loss or change to a persons taste or smell.
In his latest YouTube video, Professor Tim Spector, who heads up the ZOE Covid Study app, provided the latest on BA.4 and BA.5 - the two new sub variants of omicron.
According to the professor, the UK is not yet seeing "worrying levels" of the variants with 1,300 cases of BA.4 reported in England and one case in Northern Ireland.
There is no indication however that the cases have been confirmed in Scotland.
Professor Spector also warned that whilst BA.4 and BA.5 may not be an immediate concern currently, they are "keeping an eye on this because South Africa - where omicron was first picked up - is seeing BA.4 and BA.5 increasing quite fast
So what is the new symptom associated with the variants?
New covid symptom people should keep an eye on amid BA.4 and BA.5 cases
The symptom people should be aware of is tinnitus - often known as ear ringing - which should be taken "really seriously."
The warning comes after Prof Spector and his team conducted a survey to assess the prevalence of tinnitus in people infected with covid and despite it being "something we haven't heard much about, it turns out that 19 per cent - or one in five - did have ear problems because of covid."
According to the ZOE lead, of the 14,500 people who took part in the survey, five thousand tested positive for covid and ear ringing with participants said the symptom "comes and goes and can be mild to moderate for weeks or months".
The professor himself admitted he developed the symptom however it "disappeared quickly in me".
What can tinnitus sound like and how can I spot it?
Tinnitus can sound like:
- Music or singing.
"You may hear these sounds in one or both ears, or in your head. They may come and go, or you might hear them all the time," says the NHS.
According to the health body, you should see a GP if you have tinnitus regularly or constantly.
You should also see a GP if:
- Your tinnitus is getting worse
- Your tinnitus is bothering you – for example, it's affecting your sleep or concentration, or is making you feel anxious and depressed
- You have tinnitus that beats in time with your pulse
The NHS adds: "If the cause of your tinnitus is unknown or cannot be treated, your GP or specialist may refer you for a type of talking therapy."
This could be:
- Tinnitus counselling – to help you learn about your tinnitus and find ways of coping with it
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – to change the way you think about your tinnitus and reduce anxiety
- Tinnitus retraining therapy – using sound therapy to retrain your brain to tune out and be less aware of the tinnitus.