How to tell if you have Covid, cold or flu? Here are the symptoms to watch for including 9 new Covid ones added by NHS

A NEW variant of Omicron is ‘under investigation’, the UKHSA has announced.

Sunday, 10th April 2022, 2:34 pm

The original Omicron wave caused a large number of cases in December and into the new year.

However now a new sub-variant known as BA.2 has been identified in the UK.

A case was identified in Portsmouth by scientists testing samples.

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These are the key differences between a cold, flu or Covid

It is known as ‘stealth Omicron’ because it does not exhibit a tell-tale marker on its spike protein, revealed through a common type of PCR test, which the authorities had previously used to monitor the spread of Omicron.

But it is not just the new variant floating around there is also Covid and other seasonal viruses like colds and flu – and it means there is a high chance you could be feeling a little under the weather.

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But how can you tell the difference? And what are the difference in symptoms.

This is what coronavirus looks like. Picture: Shutterstock

Here’s what the NHS website and other sources say:

Does ‘stealth Omicron’ have different symptoms?

So far it does not seem as if the sub-variant has any unusual symptoms – compared to Covid and Omicron.

Coronavirus symptoms

People sitting on a bench wearing masks in Canoe Lake. Picture: Habibur Rahman

After 19 months of the pandemic, you are probably well versed in the symptoms of Covid, but if you need reminding – here’s what the NHS website says.

The main symptoms for adults and children:

- 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

The NHS has now added the following symptoms:

- 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

Common cold symptoms

On the NHS website, it says that cold symptoms come on gradually and can include:

- a blocked or runny nose

- a sore throat

- headaches

- muscle aches

- coughs

- sneezing

- a raised temperature

- pressure in your ears and face

- loss of taste and smell

The symptoms are the same in adults and children. Sometimes symptoms last longer in children.

Flu symptoms

These are the signs of flu to watch out for, according to the NHS.

- a sudden high temperature of 38C or above

- an aching body

- feeling tired or exhausted

- a dry cough

- a sore throat

- a headache

- difficulty sleeping

- loss of appetite

- diarrhoea or tummy pain

- feeling sick and being sick

What to do if you have Covid symptoms?

- Get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if you have COVID-19 as soon as possible.

- Stay at home and do not have visitors (self-isolate) until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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