Colds, flus and other respiratory illnesses are more common in colder months.
Recently, new Covid variants have been circulating – we’ve seen the arrival of a number of strains, including Pirola, HV.1 and JN.1.
The UK Health Security Agency also announced on Monday 27 November the first human case of a new swine flu strain had been detected the UK.
Alongside these, Britons have been complaining of a cold “worse than any winter bug”.
People have reported feeling discomfort for weeks at a time, with pounding headaches and fatigue.
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Those suffering from the virus have turned to the platform Reddit to share their experiences.
One person commented: “Just coming off the back end of a brutal cold that’s lasted about three weeks, during which my sinuses have been almost completely closed, relaxing only for brief periods while also producing mucus at an alarming rate.”
Another said: “I caught it in October, I was bedridden for days and then spent another week housebound, constantly looking at my phone to see if it had been four hours since my last dose of paracetamol. I’m assuming it’s a Covid variant that isn’t picked up by the tests, it was worse than any winter bug I’d had before 2020.”
Abbas Kanani, pharmacist at Chemist Click, advised whether or not the illness is a new Covid variant.
He said: “We are not certain as to what it is, however most people are reporting similar symptoms to the latest Covid variant, Pirola JN.1.”
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Kanani said the symptoms mainly reported are a fever, headaches, a blocked nose, coughs and fatigue.
He continued: “In general, with the common cold or flu, one or two days in bed should help to get you on the road to recovery. Yet, with this this illness people tend to be bed bound for longer than this.”
According to Kanani there have yet to be any reports of a loss of taste and smell which is one of the most common Covid symptoms.
He added: “We are not certain, but as mentioned most people are reporting similar symptoms to the latest Covid variant, Pirola JN.1.”
The best way to treat the illness is to drink plenty of fluids such as water or water with lemon and honey, said Kanani.
He explained: “Hydration helps to alleviate your symptoms so you feel better faster, supports your immune system to work efficiently, so you recover quickly and can also help decrease nasal irritation when coughing, sneezing and even just breathing.”
He also advised: “A blocked nose at night often feels worse as lying flat causes more blood to flow to your nose, increasing the swelling. Instead, try and sleep with your head slightly elevated using a few pillows.
“Decongestant nasal sprays or drops can provide short-term relief for a blocked or stuffy nose. Decongestant nasal sprays and drops should not be used for more than a week at a time because using them for too long can make your stuffiness worse.
“Breathing in moist air can soothe a cough caused by dry air. If you do not have a humidifier, you could try a having a steamy shower which can have a similar affect.
“Eating a teaspoon or two of honey may help with your cough too. Research shows that honey has some antimicrobial and anti-inflammation properties and can help by decreasing inflammation and irritation in your throat.”
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