It seems that everyone is suffering from a real bad case of the cold at the moment.
Thousand of us across the country are experiencing symptoms that could be mistaken for coronavirus. Coughing and sneezing now often means we head straight to the test centre for a PCR test.
However, many of feeling terrible despite a negative Covid result – it may well be a good old common cold that is leaving us bed ridden and snotty nosed.
A GP has given a little insight to why you may be suffering from the worst cold you have ever had, reports Wales Online.
London GP Dr Philippa Kaye told BBC Newsbeat : “We’ve actually been seeing a rise in the number of coughs and colds and viral infections.
“We are mixing in a way that we haven’t been mixing over the past 18 months.”
Now that most restrictions in Scotland been lifted, people are no longer social distancing and fewer are working from home, the number of coughs and colds is rising rapidly.
There is also a spike in ‘Fresher’s Flu’ – a spike in colds spread among new arrivals at universities as they gather in huge numbers after travelling from across the country, bringing viruses with them.
Rebecca London told the BBC the cold she caught at a festival was ‘the worst ever’.
The 24-year-old said: “I barely slept, I’d wake up in the night just coughing, a constantly runny nose and feeling so tired.”
She has been ill for more than a week.
Student Noor Hashmi, 18, also told the BBC: “Normally I’m still able to go about my day, but this one left me with muscle fatigue, a lost voice and headache that meant I’ve just stayed indoors.”
Dr Philippa says if you have symptoms that could be Covid – a new cough, fever, loss of sense of taste or smell – then you should get a PCR test.
She says colds can be treated at home with rest, fluids and over-the-counter painkillers.
Because everyone has been wearing masks and distancing for almost two years, it means we have missed catching a number of cough, cold and flu viruses.
If you don’t catch them you don’t develop immunity – so when the viruses eventually reach you your symptoms can be more severe.
Dr Ron Eccles, Emeritus Professor at Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences told Patient.info : “If you’ve been exposed to a particular virus before, you may not develop any symptoms at all, because your immune system has been primed to fight off the infection.
“It’s the same process that means you usually only catch chickenpox once.
“With common colds we generally don’t have such a strong immune response and therefore we probably don’t get lifelong immunity to a particular virus.
“However, we may get a milder response if we are exposed to that virus again.”
Don’t mistake a cold for Covid
Remember, if you have a new and continuous cough a fever (temperature above 37.8C) or you have noticed a change to your sense of taste or smell you must get a Covid PCR test immediately.
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