Public urged to take Covid test if not feeling 100%

Young woman holds a swab into her mouth and holding a medical tube for the coronavirus / covid19 ho

Health chiefs say the new delta variant has added to possible Covid symptoms - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Suffolk’s public health chief has urged people to take a rapid Covid-19 test “if they are not feeling 100%” rather than just looking out for the most common symptoms.

The main symptoms of Covid-19 since the pandemic began have been a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change in the sense of smell or taste.

But Public Health Suffolk director Stuart Keeble said the additional symptoms with the delta variant made identifying the infection more tricky, and urged people to take a lateral flow test if they don’t feel 100% for whatever reason to help combat the spread.

“The symptoms of the delta variant are a bit more diffuse and a bit more difficult to unpick,” he told the Local Outbreak Engagement Board gathering of health, council and police bosses.

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk, is urging people to take a test if they are not feeling 100% - Credit: Suffolk County Council

“We know we have had cases where people have just had headaches and just carried on working because they have felt that is not one of the symptoms.

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“I would ask people to be more sensitive to that and maybe get a test if they are not feeling 100%.”

Additional potential symptoms of the delta variant include a sore throat, aches, headaches, chills, runny nose, fatigue or shortness of breath – many of the symptoms associated with common colds or flu.

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According to Suffolk data, numbers of people taking tests has not dropped off despite the schools closing for the summer holidays, and people were still encouraged to do twice weekly lateral flow tests – those which can be done at home and provide a result in half an hour.

Mr Keeble said: “We know schools have broken up and one of the key bits of schools was parents and secondary school age pupils were encouraged to test regularly when they were going to school.

“Actually what we find is the rate of test per 100,000 population the rates have stayed relatively stable.”

Packs of lateral flow tests are free and can be picked up in pharmacies, ordered from the Government website, and being handed out by mobile teams travelling throughout the county, particularly around high footfall and tourist hotspots.

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