The number of people with Covid continues to fall for all ages. But the disease is still around and can infect double-jabbed people. The leading symptom of the disease is “pharyngitis”, according to the ZOE symptom study app.
The ZOE Symptom study app collects reports from patients about the symptoms they have to spot the “top” symptoms.
It was noticed early on by the app that vaccinated people were still getting symptoms, although their risk of severe Covid was much lower.
It said: “Generally, we saw similar symptoms of COVID-19 being reported overall in the app by people who had and hadn’t been vaccinated.”
“However, fewer symptoms were reported over a shorter period of time by those who had already had a jab, suggesting that they were falling less seriously ill and getting better more quickly.”
Pharyngitis, which takes the top spot among the vaccinated in the apps’ rankings, is known medically as a sore throat.
It’s caused by inflammation in your throat due to foreign objects – such as Covid.
Cheryl Lythgoe, Matron at the not-for-profit healthcare provider Benenden Health, shared her advice on how to spot a Covid sore throat.
She said: “Sore throat symptoms are usually caused by viruses like cold flu and, very occasionally, they can be caused by bacteria.
“The symptoms of a sore throat can be a pain when swallowing and the throat feeling dry and scratchy. It can also present as a cough or redness and swelling around the back of the throat (tonsils), which can cause your Lymph nodes to swell.”
She also explained that the symptom “should get better within a week” and that you “usually don’t need treatment” because it resolves itself.
Lythgoe added that sore throat shows up in two-thirds of Covid cases, alongside several other symptoms.
“The researchers at Kings College London – responsible for the Covid Symptom study app – have identified a sore throat, along with other symptoms, such as headache, loss of smell, muscle pains, and cough, as a symptom of COVID-19 – with the loss of smell and fever becoming less common in Covid cases.”
If the sore throat isn’t down to Covid or a cold flu, it will likely stick around for longer. Lythgoe explains that if it’s glandular fever, it could last within one to two weeks
In other conditions, the sore throat may also present as a mild ear infection or with an abscess on your tonsils, or throat.
She said: “Other red flag complications which can lead to hospital admission, include Epiglottitis which presents as difficulty in breathing, often high pitched breathing (Stridor).
“For those who have a sore throat that is long-lasting or does not go away, it can also be an indication of other conditions such as cancer or HIV so please contact your GP in the first instance.”
Current ZOE Covid symptoms ranking list for fully vaccinated people
The “top” five symptoms among double vaccinated people according to ZOE, include:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Blocked nose
- Persistent cough
But people with a sore throat may also notice that they have a hoarse voice, which is also a sign of inflammation in the larynx of the throat.
Lythgoe said: “A hoarse voice could be a sign of inflammation of the larynx, also known as Laryngitis, which can be caused by an upper respiratory infection. This can lead to swelling and irritation of the vocal cords which limits the usual vibration movement.
“Fortunately, most causes of voice hoarseness are self-limiting and will resolve in their own time. Another cause could be Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, which occurs when stomach enzymes irritate the throat.
“Voice hoarseness can also – rarely – be related to lung cancer, this alongside other symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, persistent coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest pain. If you have these symptoms, please contact your GP.
“For those with intermittent mild voice hoarseness, to help relieve the symptoms it is recommended to rest your voice as much as you can, take antacids, drink plenty of non-fizzy fluids and avoid cigarette smoke.”