Omicron cases continue to surge across the UK and the new mutant variant has a variety of unusual symptoms. Here’s when you need to seek medical assistance for your Covid symptoms, according to doctors
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Covid cases across the UK continue to hit over 170,000 per day, with recent days seeing the highest number of daily deaths since March 2021.
And, as Omicron continues to surge, people are noticing unusual symptoms, before and after testing positive for the virus.
Strange new symptoms of the mutant coronavirus variant include pink eye, conjunctivitis, hair loss and pale grey or blue-coloured skin, lips and nails.
The NHS continues to advise the public to get a test as soon as you start feeling any of the main symptoms of Covid, which are a loss or change in your sense of smell or taste, a high temperature and a new or persistent cough.
However, with hospitalisations on the rise, it’s important to know when to seek medical help for your coronavirus symptoms. So, we’ve spoken to Southampton-based GP Dr Reena Virdi and Dr Gareth Nye, a lecturer of anatomy and physiology at the University of Chester’s Medical School, to find out exactly when you should speak to a medical professional.
When should you seek medical help for Omicron and Covid symptoms?
Though Omicron is widely believed to be milder than the Delta variant, the way people react to the virus varies in severity.
Dr Reena Virdi tells the Mirror: “It is important to seek medical advice if your symptoms worsen and become unmanageable. For instance, feeling short of breath, tight chested, dizzy or faint, particularly on minimal exertion or at rest.
“In this case you should call your GP, 111 if it is out of hours, or attend the emergency department/call an ambulance if symptoms are very severe.”
Dr Gareth Nye echoes this and tells the Mirror that a warning sign signalling you may need medical help would be: “When you have difficulty in breathing whilst moving around”.
“This means the amount of oxygen getting into your blood isn’t enough and can make you tired, dizzy and weak. If you try and push through this you may essentially run out of useable oxygen and you may collapse,” he warns
Dr Nye suggests a Covid sufferer heads to A&E when “this breathing difficulty impacts you whilst sitting down”.
He adds: “Additional danger signs are the presence of blood in what’s being coughed up, your breathing has suddenly gotten worse or you have any rash that may be associated with meningitis.”
If you do have an oximeter in your home, he advises checking to see if the person with Covid has an oxygen level dipping below 92. If this is the case, Dr Nye recommends seeking A&E help.
And, when it comes to someone who is pregnant and has tested positive for Covid, he recommends: “It’s a good idea to inform your midwife team, but the signs are as above or your normal pregnancy warning signs. These include reduced foetal movement or vaginal bleeding.”
When should you seek medical help and assistance for children with Omicron and Covid?
Dr Gavin Nye says the emergency signs for medical help in children differ from those of adults with Covid.
He says to look out for the following in kids with coronavirus:
- Meningitis symptoms
- Struggling to breathe or short of breath
- Stiff neck
- Wanting to be in the dark
- Unusually cold hands/feet
- Pale skin
- Drowsy and hard to wake
How can Covid symptoms vary for vaccinated and unvaccinated people?
There is a range of reasons why people may encounter different symptoms for coronavirus, ranging from the person having underlying conditions and their vaccination status to them catching a different strain.
Dr Reena Virdi tells the Mirror: “Evidence is showing that those who are up-to-date with vaccines tend to have much milder “cold-like” symptoms of runny nose, sneezing, congestion, headache and fatigue.
“In some cases, and more so for those unvaccinated, the symptoms may be more severe such as a cough, more fatigue, fever, breathlessness.”
When your symptoms feel manageable, Dr Virdi says: “The advice remains to order a PCR test online or via 119, and isolate till results return.”