A HIGHLY mutated Covid variant, nicknamed 'Pirola' is the latest strain to do the rounds.
A new vaccination drive was brought forward due to fears over the new bug.
So far, the BA.2.86 strain hasn't caused a huge uptick in cases.
And the best way to test for Covid is to do a lateral flow test.
However, doctors are finding signs that the diseases are changing – it's starting to affect people's faces.
While the illness' past telltale signs, like the loss of sense of taste or smell, a hacking cough, and shortness of breath have become less common.
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Dr Johannes Uys, a GP from Broadgate General Practice, told the Express: "Covid Pirola can cause visible facial symptoms such as eye irritation (pink eye) and a skin rash”.
Doctors have found the new bug affects the upper respiratory tract, which includes the nose and voice box.
Dr Erick Eiting from Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York, US, said: "It isn’t the same typical symptoms that we were seeing before.
"It’s a lot of congestion, sometimes sneezing, usually a mild sore throat."
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The sore throat emerges first followed by a stuffy nose, he explained.
The 3 lesser-known signs of Covid
Covid-19 can cause symptoms you may not expect, including:
1. Digestive issues
Diarrhoea can be a sign of Covid.
Experts think this is because the virus can invade cells in the gut and disrupt its normal function.
The symptom was more common at the beginning of the pandemic.
2. Toe changes
Reddish and purplish bumps on the fingers or toes, which may be sore but not usually itchy.
This type of rash is more common in younger people with the disease, and tends to present later on.
Severe confusion, or delirium, might be the main or only symptom of Covid in older people
Source: Mayo Clinic
The Zoe Covid Symptom Study, which collects data on self-reported symptoms in the UK documented the same pattern.
It found a sore throat became more common after the Omicron variant grew dominant in late 2021, while loss of taste and smell fell to the wayside.
According to the ZOE study, other symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
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