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There’s a surprising (and slightly confusing) new Covid symptom to look out for

As Omicron BA.5 rages across the UK, experts say the virus has mutated – and new symptoms have emerged

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Since Covid first came into our lives and turned everything to shit, the virus has continued to mutate – and that means its symptoms have gradually changed, too. At the beginning of the pandemic people experienced a dry cough and loss of taste and smell, then the symptoms became a bit more flu-like with a snotty nose, sneezing and so on.  

When it comes to the more recent strains of Covid going around, most of the above still apply, with the main addition of a sore throat. But now, according to one immunologist, there’s another Covid symptom in town: night sweats.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. It has been pretty hot recently – how do you know if you’re sweating because you’ve got Covid or because you’re simply not acclimatised to searing, global warming-induced heatwaves? Well, night sweats are likely to combine with one or more of the above symptoms. If they do, its probs best to pick up a latty flow and check if you’ve got the virus.

The main Covid strains in the UK at the moment are Omicron BA.4 and BA.5. According to The Independent, night sweats are a symptom of BA.5 and they can occur without the virus causing severe illness. The new symptom is a reminder that while Covid is, thanks to vaccines and so many people having already caught the virus, much less lethal than before, it’s still out there and mutating. 

All that being said, given the recent heatwaves and the fact that night sweats being a Covid symptom is the view of just one immunologist (it hasn’t been added to the NHS’s list of official Covid symptoms), it might be worth taking all this with a pinch of salt. For the full list of current official symptoms, see the NHS website here.

ICYMI: could there be another 40C heatwave on the way in August?

Plus: what will British weather actually be like in 2050? We asked an expert.

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