How to spot a Covid sore throat: From time of onset to severity – the symptom explained

Dr Hilary Jones explains nine new symptoms of Covid

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Whether it’s that scratchy feeling that can be only aided by honey or a lozenge or a full-blown pain, sore throat is a common warning sign of various infections. Covid – being no different – can also be announced by this “early” symptom.

After a long-time of pressure on the NHS, the health service has added nine Covid symptoms to its list, including a sore throat.

While the only main symptoms recognised by the NHS for a while were fever, cough and loss or change to taste and smell, the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app warned about other indications for a long time.

Recording the data from millions of users, ZOE showed that sore throat represents an “early” sign of the virus.

They share that this symptom seems to be “common” in children and adults up to the age of 65.

As sore throat is considered to be one of the early signs of Covid, this sign might crop up at the beginning of the infection.

It “usually” appears in the first week of illness and can improve “quite quickly”.

“It feels worse on the first day of infection but gets better on each following day,” ZOE stated.

Their app users added that this sign can feel similar to a sore throat you might experience while having a cold or laryngitis.

When it comes to the severity of this symptom, it tends to be “relatively mild”.

And it usually lasts for no more than five days, however, some adults reported it to be present for up to a week.

If this symptom is persistent for longer than that, it could be pointing to a different health problem, such as a bacterial infection.

The research project advises contacting your GP if this problem doesn’t budge.

It’s worth noting that there are plenty of other respiratory illnesses that could be also causing the unpleasant feelings in your throat.

What are the other NHS Covid symptoms?

These include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • Aching body
  • Headache
  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick or being sick.

The NHS notes that these symptoms are “very similar” to the likes of cold and flu.

While you no longer have to self-isolate, the health service still recommends staying at home when you suffer from a Covid infection.

Their advice reads: “Try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have symptoms of COVID-19.”

They add that you can get back to your daily activities once you feel better or don’t suffer from a high temperature.

You’re also no longer required to do a Covid test, whether that’s a rapid lateral flow or a PCR test.

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