As winter approaches, there’s a resurgence of coronavirus cases in the UK, coinciding with the return of children to school and colder weather. The Pirola variant, marked by its high mutation rate, is gaining prominence and is nearing dominance in the country. Scientists estimate around 30 mutations in Pirola, posing challenges for the World Health Organisation to monitor its spread effectively. Concerns arise about potential difficulties in immunity response due to these mutations.
Pirola, initially detected in Denmark in July, has now been confirmed in 54 Covid-19 cases as of September 18, but the actual figure might be higher due to reduced testing. The NHS is increasingly alarmed about rising infections as flu season approaches. Health experts advise elderly and vulnerable individuals to get booster shots this autumn. The symptoms associated with Pirola are not distinct from common coronavirus symptoms, and there’s no evidence indicating increased lethality or contagiousness compared to earlier strains.
The NHS highlights 11 symptoms to watch for:
- Continuous cough
- High temperature, fever, or chills
- Loss of or change in normal taste or smell
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained fatigue or lack of energy
- Muscle aches or pains not related to exercise
- Lack of appetite or not feeling hungry
- Unusual or prolonged headaches
- Sore throat, stuffy, or runny nose
- Feeling sick or vomiting
If individuals suspect they have Covid, NHS advice urges them to stay home and avoid contact with others. The virus can be contagious from around two days before symptoms appear. Although most people are no longer infectious after five days, in some cases, contagion can persist for up to 10 days after symptoms start. While there are no strict legal rules on isolation, current guidance recommends staying at home if experiencing symptoms, a high temperature, or feeling unwell after testing positive.