TV doctor issues 'red flags' cough warning you need to see your GP for

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

A TV doctor has warned people about coughing red flags amid concerns over flu-like symptoms affecting many across the country. There are concerns at the moment that are fuelled by a potential Covid infection.

And this anxiety arises amid the emergence of two new Covid strains, FLiRT and LB.1, which have begun to see an increase throughout the UK this summer, causing widespread illness. To alleviate public concern, Dr. Xand van Tulleken emphasised on BBC Morning Live the importance of being vigilant for certain "red flag" symptoms, addressing whether or not we need to be worried.

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 whether or not coughing is anything to be worried about, 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 urges 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