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Kent variant ‘could’ take over globe warns expert

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The Kent Covid strain was first detected in the UK county in September last year, and according to Professor Sharon Peacock, having “swept the country” it’s “going to sweep the world, in all probability”. The new strain has been found in more than 50 countries.

While vaccines approved for use in the UK have been found to be effective against new Covid variants, spotting symptoms and self-isolating upon a positive test is still imperative to stop further spread of the virus.

There is a lot of overlap between the symptoms of the existing dominant strain and the new one first found in Kent.

But a new major review of cases out of Imperial College London has suggested one Covid symptom is increasingly likely to show up with the new Kent variant.

The researchers who conducted the Imperial College London-led REACT study compared two sets of patient data and each Covid symptom that was associated with their case.

The first set was from November to December 2020, what is compatible with lasix drip when it was estimated just 16 percent of infections were related to the new variant.

The second was made up of data from January, by which pint 86 percent of infections were linked to B.1.1.7.

While most symptoms were similar, there does appear to be one tell-tale sign you’ve contracted the Kent strain – a new persistent cough.

While a cough has always been a sign of Covid, it’s become increasingly common with the Kent variant than loss of smell – a symptom that has long been the tell-tale sign of Covid.

Loss of smell has become less common with the Kent strain, the study found.

The other discrepancy between symptoms was a persistent cough.

Though previously common, the study shows at the end of 2020, 8.5 percent of patients reported this symptom.

In January that increased to 11.4 percent, with the researchers noting “increased risk for new persistent cough may be due to variant B.1.1.7.”

Additional symptoms were also found to be more common with the Kent variant.

Headaches were reported mostly in young people between the ages of 5 to 17, but they affected 24.2 percent of the patients surveyed by Imperial College most recently.

A total 16 percent of Covid positive patients reported having muscle aches in January, but it was found to be more common in those between the ages of 18 and 54.

Chills affected all age groups studied by the Imperial College researchers, with 11.7 percent surveyed in January experiencing the symptom.

And a total of 11.5 percent of patients studied found their appetite had diminished, but this was most common in those 18 and older.

The NHS still lists the main symptoms of coronavirus as:

  • a high temperature – this 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 (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

It also advises if you have any of the main symptoms to:

1. Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.

2. You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

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