UK summer Covid wave explained as professor says 'we will all catch it again'

The official symptoms of coronavirus have not changed as a new mutation called FLiRT is now the dominant strain in the UK
-Credit: (Image: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos)

A professor has explained people across will likely get covid multiple times throughout their lives amid fears a wave is surging across the country.

According to latest figures, the number of people being admitted to hospital with coronavirus has increased slightly. The number of people being admitted to hospital with Covid increased from 2.67 people per 100,000 to 3.31 per 100,000.

The latest tests also show that around one in every 25,000 people had Covid on 26 June. However, an epidemiology expert from the University of East Anglia explained there is nothing to be concerned about with the statistics.

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Professor Paul Hunter told the BBC: "I think we're probably seeing about as much infection this year as we were seeing last year - a little bit less, but not hugely less.” Professor Hunter said there are far fewer deaths and hospitalisations from Covid as he said the illness is now part of life.

He added: "We are all of us going to get repeated Covid infections from births through to death. Generally what we've seen is that over the last three years, four years, the severity of illness associated with Covid has gone down a lot.

"Ultimately, it's going to become another cause of the common cold and, for many people, that's what it is now. To be honest, you can't really avoid it because it's so common.”

The increase in cases comes as new FliRT variants have rapidly become the dominant strains in the UK. The new variant has been named FLiRT after the technical name for its mutation and this group includes the KP.3, KP.2 and KP.1.1 strains. Last month, Lara Herrero, Research Leader in Virology and Infectious Disease at Griffith University, said the FLiRT variants "may be more transmissible than earlier covid variants."

She told The Conversation: ""In more positive news, there’s no evidence the FLiRT variants cause more severe disease than earlier variants. Still, that doesn’t mean catching a covid infection driven by FLiRT is risk-free."

According the NHS, the official symptoms of coronavirus have not changed.

COVID-19 symptoms

  • a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours

  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

  • shortness of breath

  • feeling tired or exhausted

  • an aching body

  • a headache

  • a sore throat

  • a blocked or runny nose

  • loss of appetite

  • diarrhoea

  • feeling sick or being sick

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