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Covid cases rising in the UK: Most common symptoms to watch out for

Cases of Covid are rising in England, with around 1.5 million people expected to be infected (AFP via Getty Images)
Cases of Covid are rising in England, with around 1.5 million people expected to be infected (AFP via Getty Images)

As Covid cases are predicted to be rising in the UK, it’s worth knowing what the most common symptoms are, so you can test and isolate yourself should you feel unwell.

There were 115,000 symptomatic cases of Covid in the UK on March 25, according to the ZOE Covid health study, which predicted that there are currently 1,483,000 symptomatic cases in total.

For comparison, ZOE predicted that there were 1,280,000 symptomatic cases in mid-March. In early February, ZOE predicted that there were around 900,000 cases in the UK.

The estimated figures showed that the number of cases in England is at the highest since the start of the year, with most cases in cities such as London, Birmingham and Leeds. The trend is unclear in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Most common Covid symptoms

While there are very general Covid symptoms to be aware of, such as a high temperature and a cough, for example, the most common symptoms can vary based on the variant.


Recently, more people with Covid have been reporting a sore throat and a runny nose.

The following symptoms could be signs of Covid, according to the NHS:

  • a high temperature or shivering (chills)

  • a new, continuous cough

  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

  • shortness of breath

  • feeling tired or exhausted

  • an aching body

  • a headache

  • a sore throat

  • a blocked or runny nose

  • loss of appetite

  • diarrhoea

  • feeling sick or being sick

But as of December 2022, the ZOE health study found that the following symptoms are the most common:

  1. a sore throat

  2. a runny nose

  3. a blocked nose

  4. sneezing

  5. a cough without phlegm

  6. a headache

  7. a cough with phlegm

  8. a hoarse voice

  9. muscle aches and pains

  10. an altered sense of smell

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, take a lateral flow test. If it’s positive, it’s recommended to stay at home until you feel better or test negative.