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The BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants are driving Covid infections in the UK (Composite: Mark Hall / NationalWorld)

Omicron symptoms: 9 Covid warning signs affecting fully vaccinated as UK infections rise

The BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants are driving Covid infections in the UK

Monday, 20th June 2022, 2:51 pm

Covid infections in the UK are on the rise again, with parts of the country showing signs of an increase in cases.

A total of 989,800 people in the UK are estimated to have had Covid in the week ending 2 June, up from 953,900 the previous week, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This marks the first time that total infections have increased week-on-week since the end of March, when the number hit a record 4.9 million at the peak of the Omicron BA.2 wave.

All four nations have seen a slight rise in the prevalence of the virus, although the ONS describes the trend in Scotland and Wales as “uncertain”.

The jump in infections is thought to have been driven by the newer BA.4 and BA.5 variants of Omicron, which were recently classified by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) as “variants of concern”.

Both variants have been found to have a “growth advantage” over BA.2 and a degree of “immune escape”, meaning the immune system can no longer recognise or fight a virus, which is likely to contribute to their growth advantage over BA.2, the UKHSA said.

BA.4 and BA.5 are not thought to be any more severe than other Covid strains, although they appear to be spreading more easily and are able to infect people even if they have recently been infected with another Omicron variant.

Health experts have warned that even people who have had three doses of a Covid vaccine are not immune from catching the virus again, although the symptoms should be less severe.

Researchers in Norway have identified key symptoms of Omicron that are most common among people who are fully vaccinated to help detect infection. The findings, published in medical journal Eurosurveillance, found eight key symptoms in those who had been double jabbed.

Data from the ZOE Covid Study also identified a telltale symptom that could be an early sign of infection.

Vaccines help protect against the most serious risks of Covid, but it is still possible to get infected even if you have had two or more doses. So if you are fully vaccinated, these are the nine most common symptoms to look for.

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