The UK is increasingly facing the prospect of a fifth wave of COVID-19. Covid cases have passed 275,000 a day and could reach 300,000 early next week, scientists say. According to the latest data from the ZOE Covid symptom study app, more than three million Britons currently have a symptomatic infection.
The ZOE Covid symptom study app tracks the movements of the pandemic via weekly logs from users across the UK.
Tim Spector, the King’s College London professor who heads up the app, revealed the top symptoms of Covid currently logged in the app.
In his latest YouTube video, the professor said users are currently reporting runny nose, headache and fatigue more than any other symptoms.
He acknowledged the symptoms are “hard to tell apart from hay fever” but there are some distinguishing characteristics.
According to the professor, fatigue and sore throat “generally do set it apart from hay fever”.
How bad could things get?
Daily symptomatic infections have risen by 150 percent this month, rising from 114,030 on 1 June to 285,507 on Monday, according to the latest figures from the ZOE Covid study app.
That’s an increase of 171,477 new infections a day and puts them at the highest level they have been for all but three weeks of the pandemic.
Professor Spector told i he expects cases will rise to “just under” 300,000 a day by the weekend and could well keep rising next week – although he can’t be sure.
A new feature to the ZOE app that Professor Spector described as “usual self symptoms” also gives users the chance to log their general wellbeing from week to week.
This gives researchers an insight into the general mood of the country, especially as the cost of living crisis bites.
According to the professor, 100,000 users have so far filled out this feature in the app.
The symptoms people in the UK are commonly complaining about include stress, tiredness and nervousness, notes the professor.
“We are stressed out, tired and nervous – given the current economic environment with strikes, it’s not strange,” he said in the video.