Richard Madeley clashes with Akua in debate over colds
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Reports of a “super cold” have increased dramatically recently with many calling it the “worst cold ever”. GPs are reporting high numbers of patients describing Covid-like symptoms despite repeatedly testing negative for COVID-19. Several sufferers claim to be bed-bound for a few weeks and unable to undertake any normal talk. Express.co.uk explores the “super cold” and the best ways to treat it.
What is the “super cold”?
The “super cold” is otherwise known as the “worst cold ever”.
The UK Health Security Agency has reported an uptick in calls to 111 about colds and flu.
These calls have predominantly involved difficulty breathing above expected levels, particularly in patients aged 15 to 44 according to The Times.
Health experts have warned against self-diagnosing and urged sufferers to take a COVID-19 test if they are experiencing a cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell.
Many people have taken to social media to report super cold symptoms.
Twitter user @oliroll111 wrote: “Ok seriously… anyone else been struck down by this non-Covid chest/sinus infection? It’s been 2 weeks and I’m exhausted. Very grateful Miss Rona hasn’t paid me a visit but this is something else. Never been this continually ill before”.
Another user @mummy_diaries_ said: “Well, I’m heading into week three of having this “super” cold and it’s just not shifting. So fed up.”
Louise Robinson tweeted: “This is legit the worst cold/flu I’ve ever had, feel like I’ve been hit with a bus”.
On social media, many people reporting a similar condition while testing negative for Covid reported symptoms ranging from a “sandpaper throat” to “utter fatigue”.
The main symptoms of the super cold according to the ZOE Covid Symptom Study include a sore throat, runny nose, headache and sneezing.
Many other symptoms are similar to Covid and regular colds.
The world’s largest ongoing study into Covid said: “A negative result from a lateral flow test is not reliable enough to be sure you’re definitely not infected, so if your symptoms persist it’s best to get a PCR test to be sure.”
Scientists have dismissed talk of the “super cold” arguing it is “unlikely” and instead claiming people are being hit particularly hard by regular colds because of a lack of immunity and exposure to strains over the past 18 months.
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The common cold is caused by more than 200 different strains of the virus.
The apparent “super cold” circulating across Britain at the moment is believed to be a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
RSV is very common with 65 percent of children getting the infection by the age of one – with this rising to 97 by the age of three.
The condition is highly contagious and easily transmitted through coughing and sneezing.
It also spreads widely through hands and surfaces which means in close quarters such as schools and workplaces the virus can spread rapidly from person to person.
How to treat a super cold
Unfortunately as a super cold is a virus there is no real way to treat it directly.
However, you can try to manage the symptoms with rest and painkillers.
You can take paracetamol to ease sore throats, muscle pain and headaches and drink hot drinks to alleviate the cough.
It is also advised to use a nasal decongestant spray as this will help to alleviate discomfort overnight and ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
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