People risk 'Covid roulette' in summer wave with FLiRT symptoms 'worst yet'

People in the UK have been warned over Covid "roulette" with some FLIRT variant symptoms branded the "worst ever". Covid is sweeping the country in a summer wave and people up and down the country have been warned over the rise in cases.

Dr Peter Chin-Hong, a UC San Francisco infectious diseases expert, warned: “The dogma is that every time you get Covid, it’s milder. But I think we need to keep our minds open to the possibility that some people have worse symptoms."

"Each time you get Covid, he said, is “kind of like playing Covid roulette," he told LA Times. "I've had Covid a few times but this is the worst I've had it," one person said on Reddit, adding: "Previously Covid just felt like the common cold but this strain is wreaking havoc."

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"The sinus pressure had me sitting in my bed sobbing because I was so incredibly uncomfortable and couldn't relax," a second wrote. And another Reddit user wrote: "I have never in my life experienced something worse than the Covid diarrhoea, such horror."

Jamie Lopez Bernal, consultant epidemiologist for immunisation at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said: “We are seeing an increase in Covid-19 across all indicators, including hospitalisations.” It comes as cases were up 300 week-on-week.

“The FLiRT variant has specific changes in its spike protein that might make it spread more easily and dodge immunity from past infections or vaccines,” says Dr Mariyam Malik, an NHS and private GP at Pall Mall Medical, in a fresh warning.

Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the Norwich School of Medicine, said: “Certainly it does look like we have seen a wave of infection. It may have peaked in the last week but that may be wishful thinking on my part, though it does look like the rate of increase is beginning to decline."