The 10 most common symptoms for COVID at the moment

People walk in a street in London, Britain, Feb. 21, 2022.  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday the end of all domestic COVID-19 restrictions in England in a process starting later this week.  The legal requirement for people who test positive for coronavirus to self-isolate will be removed from Thursday of this week, Johnson has announced. (Photo by Stephen Chung/Xinhua via Getty Images)
COVID infection rates are surging in the UK. (Getty)

COVID infection rates are surging, with the latest government statistics showing nearly 600,000 people tested positive the past week - a 100% increase on the seven days before.

The UK recorded its highest ever tally on Monday, with 226,525 cases. However, while that data included figures for Saturday and Sunday and reinfections, the number was more than 50,000 higher than the previous Monday.

Some experts believe even these numbers are significantly lower than reality, as the number of Brits testing has significantly reduced. In fact, according to the Zoe app COVID study at King's College London, the number of daily cases could actually exceed 300,000.

Read more: COVID hospitalisations in south-west England higher than Omicron peak

Mid adult man feeling under the weather sneezes in bed
A runny nose is the most reported COVID symptom. (Getty)

The official symptoms on the NHS are still the same - a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - despite experts repeatedly urging the government to update them.

Professor Tim Spector, who runs the Zoe app, has published a list of the most common symptoms for COVID with how prevalent they are.

The 10 most common symptoms for COVID according to the Zoe Covid Study

  1. Runny nose (80%)

  2. Headache (69%)

  3. Any fatigue (69%)

  4. Sore throat (68%)

  5. Sneezing (67%)

  6. Persistent cough (51%)

  7. Hoarse voice (45%)

  8. Chills or shivers (36%)

  9. Unusual joint pains (32%)

  10. Fever (31%)

Watch: Spring COVID booster offered to vulnerable in England

Read more: WHO says several European countries lifted Covid-19 measures too ‘brutally’

Infections have been rising across the UK since early March, driven by the Omicron BA.2 variant, but any impact from this increase on the number of death registrations will not be clear for several weeks.

Regardless, Professor Chris Whitty on Monday warned coronavirus case rates are "still very high and rising again".

"Vaccines substantially reduce rates of severe disease and hospitalisation but there is some reduction of effect over time," he said.

"If you are over 75 or immunosuppressed and the NHS contacts you for a booster please take up the offer."

The number of patients in hospital in Scotland with coronavirus has also reached the highest so far since the start of the pandemic.

The latest figures show that 2,221 patients were in hospital with the virus on Tuesday, a record high, with 29 in intensive care.

In Wales, the Government is mulling extending certain coronavirus restrictions following the surge.

A picture taken on February 20, 2022 shows a Covid-19 Lateral Flow (LFT) self-test kit, containing a SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test, arranged for a photograph, in London. (Photo by Justin TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Free universal testing for the virus will come to an end on 1 April. (Getty)

Of potential concern is that the recent fall in the number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has ended.

A total of 671 deaths registered in the seven days to 11 March mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is broadly unchanged on the previous week’s total of 670 and comes after six successive drops in the number of deaths – the longest uninterrupted fall since spring last year.

It is too soon to know if the latest figures - which are still very low compared to previous waves - signal a levelling off in COVID deaths or the start of a possible upwards trend.

Overall, 188,078 deaths have now occurred in the UK where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

The highest number on a single day was 1,487 on 19 January 2021.

During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 on 8 April 2020.

Around nine in 10 deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate since the start of the pandemic have coronavirus as the primary cause of death, with a minority listing the virus as a contributory factor.

Free universal testing for the virus will end on 1 April, with free tests only being made available to the most vulnerable.