3-quarters of People With Cold-Like Symptoms May Have COVID-19: UK Study

By Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
December 30, 2021 Updated: December 30, 2021

Three-quarters of people who have developed cold-like symptoms may have contracted the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, UK scientists have said.

According to new analysis by the ZOE COVID Study, 75 percent of people experiencing new cold-like symptoms are likely to have symptomatic COVID-19, up from around 50 percent reported last week.

Meanwhile, the study reported that the data was showing a fall in the number of non-COVID-19 “colds” and a rise in symptomatic COVID-19 infections.

Dr. Claire Steves, a King’s College London scientist who works for the ZOE COVID Study, said that while the number of daily new symptomatic cases was more than double what it was this time last year, exponential growth appeared to have stopped.

“Hospitalisation rates are thankfully much lower than this time last year, but they are still high, especially in London,” she added.

Steves said that symptoms such as a sore throat, headache, and runny nose needed to be added to the government list of COVID-19 symptoms as soon as possible.

Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and the lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app, said last week that the symptoms of the Omicron variantfeel much more like the common cold.”

Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, said on Dec. 28 that COVID-19 will become “just another cause of the common cold.”

People who test positive for the virus will have to be allowed to go about their normal lives as they would do with any other cold, he told BBC Breakfast.

Hunter also said that, at some point, the daily reporting of COVID-19 case numbers will no longer be warranted.

Preliminary findings published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on Dec. 23 showed that Omicron may be up to 70 percent less likely to lead to hospitalisation than the Delta variant.

The findings are consistent with two studies published on Dec. 22, both of which suggest the severity of the Omicron variant is relatively mild.

Researchers from the Imperial College London estimated that Omicron patients were 20 to 25 percent less likely to need hospital care and 40 to 45 percent less likely to be admitted to hospital for one night or more when compared to patients with the Delta variant.

Scientists in a separate Scotland-wide study said Omicron is associated with a two-thirds reduction in the risk of hospital admission compared with Delta.

PA contributed to this report.