Coronavirus: Key symptoms of the new Centaurus variant
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Each Covid strain seems to be targeting the body in a slightly different way, giving a rise to various symptoms. This ability to mutate combined with the vaccine roll-out means that traditional symptoms like the loss of smell are less prevalent. Currently, one of the new “top” symptoms is myalgia that can strike in your legs and shoulders.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that more than 1.4 million people in the UK were infected with Covid in the week ending on December 9, bringing the total of people with the virus to around one in 45.
Omicron BA.5 still seems to be the most dominant variant that is driving up the cases in the UK.
Back in 2021 when Omicron appeared, the variant cemented itself as a strain characterised by symptoms different that the traditional three – think cough, fever and loss of smell.
One of the commonly reported symptoms at the time was myalgia which was highlighted by South African Doctor Angelique Coetzee.
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A year later, myalgia is again a “top” Covid symptom, according to the latest reports from The Zoe Covid Study App, which keeps track of key Covid symptoms through patient reports.
Myalgia, or muscle pain, describes acute or short-term sore muscles that can feel like you exercised the previous day.
Muscle pain triggered by Covid is believed to stem from the effects of inflammatory molecules released by immune cells in response to the virus.
Doctor Coetzee explained that this sign seems to hit unvaccinated patients more intensely. But jabbed patients can still experience it as well.
According to Zoe, this type of pain often strikes in the shoulders or legs, leaving people uncomfortable.
The study app adds: “Covid-related muscle pains can range from being mild to quite debilitating, especially when they occur alongside fatigue.
“For some people, this muscle pain stops them from doing day-to-day tasks.”
Furthermore, this red flag sign can appear “early”, breaking the news of a Covid infection.
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Myalgia tends to last for an average of two to three days but can also take longer to go away.
Unfortunately, Covid muscle aches can sometimes last much longer, becoming a symptom of long Covid.
Furthermore, Zoe stresses that muscle aches can crop up for lots of reasons and don’t necessarily guarantee you have the virus.
This is where other symptoms like sore throat and runny nose step in, helping you to identify the viral culprit.
According to the study app, the full list of “top” Covid symptoms includes:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Blocked nose
- Cough without phlegm
- Cough with phlegm
- Hoarse voice
- Muscle aches and pains
- Altered sense of smell.
While self-isolating is no longer required by law, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) urged people who felt unwell not to socialise during the festive season.
“Both Covid and flu can cause severe illness or even death for those most vulnerable in our communities, and so it is also important to avoid contact with other people if you are unwell in order to help stop infections spreading over the Christmas and new year period,” said Doctor Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at the UKHSA.
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