'Worst cold ever' spreading across the UK as people complain of nasty symptoms

By Kate Lally & Sophie Halle-Richards

A new 'super cold' has emerged in patients across Scotland and throughout the UK.

Since restrictions lifted, and people are socialising more, many are complaining of the new 'hard to shift' lurgy.

Patients complain that the hard to shift cold is leaving them with symptoms including a sandpaper throat, chesty cough and runny nose that's reportedly tough to shift.

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One woman says she has been 'totally floored' for weeks - and more and more are saying they have been ill, or know someone who is under the weather, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Dr Philippa Kaye, a GP based in London, said that it's not just the north west - numbers have already been as high as you'd see in a normal winter.

She told the BBC: "We've actually been seeing a rise in the number of coughs and colds and viral infections.

"We are mixing in a way that we haven't been mixing over the past 18 months.

"During those first lockdowns, we saw numbers of other [non-Covid] infections fall. We think that that was primarily due to the restrictions on meeting up."

Sharing his experience on social media, one man, said he has come down with the "worst lurgy he's ever had".

Others posted on Facebook to say they have been badly hit by illness.

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One woman wrote: "Yep, I've been full of cold for the last few days. First one in over two years and its a doozy!"

Another said: "I've had a terrible cold for nearly three weeks, can't seem to get rid of it."

One woman wrote: "Two weeks now and it's not funny at all. First cold I've had in years and it's floored me."

Another told: "It's gone through my house over the last two weeks. We've all had covid, but we did tests just in case. All were negative, though."

What to do

If it is just a cold, your symptoms can be managed at home.

Due to the prevalence of Covid-19, which continues to circulate in the UK, it’s important to rule that out due to many symptoms being the same.

ZOE, the world’s largest ongoing study into Covid-19, said: "A negative result from a lateral flow test is not reliable enough to be sure you’re definitely not infected, so if your symptoms persist it’s best to get a PCR test to be sure."

NHS guidance says you should treat a cold with:

  • Rest and sleep
  • Keep warm
  • Drink plenty of water (fruit juice or squash mixed with water is okay) to avoid dehydration
  • Gargle salt water to soothe a sore throat (not suitable for children)

You should see a GP if:

  • Your symptoms do not improve after 3 weeks
  • Your symptoms get suddenly worse
  • Your temperature is very high or you feel hot and shivery
  • You're concerned about your child's symptoms
  • You're feeling short of breath or develop chest pain
  • You have a long-term medical condition – for example, diabetes, or a heart, lung or kidney condition
  • You have a weakened immune system – for example, because you're having chemotherapy

You can avoid catching a cold by washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap, not sharing towels or other household items with someone who has a cold, staying fit and healthy, and avoiding touching your face.


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