BBC doctor shares coughing 'red flags' you should see GP about amid Covid rise

Dr Xand BBC Morning Live
-Credit: (Image: BBC Morning Live)

Thousands of people across the UK seem to be ill at the same time, with many people reporting flu-like symptoms. Because of this, people are being extra careful about what they do and where they go, worried that they could have Covid.

The fear comes amid two new strains of the virus, FLiRT and LB.1. These variants have started to spread across the UK this summer, leading to sickness in many individuals.

In a bid to help put people's mind at ease, Dr Xand van Tulleken spoke on BBC Morning Live stressing that there are "red flag" symptoms you need to keep an eye out for. He explained: "There is a lot going around and let me deal with the Covid stuff first of all because I think it still has a troubling memory for a lot of people.

"It is wildly different now to the point where even the vaccine programme has been scaled back enormously by the government. There is a new group of variants going around - they are being intensively studied and monitored.

"The truth is the health agency is monitoring it and keeping an eye on it. But there has been a very tiny uptick in hospital admissions. But largely we have this, kind of, almost all of us have some sort of immunity."

Because of more people being sent to hospital, he stresses that people do not need to worry, adding: "Largely Covid is not going to cause significant problems for a huge number of people."

When asked about coughing - something many experience when ill - the doctor said that it's a tough one, explaining: "A cough is such a difficult symptom because everyone has had it. We all clear our throats all the time, we've all had coughs and colds that go away very routinely.

"And yet often in telly dramas and movies, a cough is seen as a precursor to something sinister, and so it can be a symptom that people worry about but don't really feel that they are entitled to go to the GP." Listing some red flag and warning signs, the expert urged people to see a GP, stating that these are the "big red flags I worry about".

These include:

  • Chest pain

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Coughing up blood

  • Swollen and painful neck

What are the symptoms of the new variants, FLiRT and LB.1?

  • fever

  • cough

  • fatigue

  • loss of taste or smell

  • sore throat

  • muscle or body aches

  • shortness of breath

  • headache

  • runny nose