06.08.2022
Covid: Infections continue to fall but millions still have the virus – symptoms to spot

The UK saw another peak in cases caused by Omicron; this time by its subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. Now the number of summer cases seems to be decreasing but Covid isn’t entirely gone. Being able to identify symptoms could still be helpful.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Covid cases are continuing to decline, decreasing by more than half a million in a week.

Around 2.6 million people were hit by the virus in the week leading up to 26 July.

For comparison, there were around 3.2 million people with coronavirus during the previous week.

The Government data is also reporting a 34.3 percent drop in infections.

What’s more, the amount of people in hospitals suffering from Covid is also on the decline.

However, experts still warn that Covid hasn’t disappeared. The data estimates that one in 25 people in England currently have the virus.

Many of the recent cases have been put down to the subvariants Omicron BA.4 and BA.5.

Furthermore, people are still able to become infected with these culprits, even if they have had Covid recently.

Fortunately, these fast-spreading variants don’t seem to be more fatal than other strains.

Vaccines are helping to protect Covid patients from becoming severely ill but they can’t guarantee you won’t catch the virus at all.

When it comes to symptoms, Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 seem to be causing signs similar to its predecessor.

From headache to sore throat, Omicron redefined the list of Covid symptoms, adding new signs into the mix.

See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest

The NHS shares the full list of Covid signs includes:

Although you are not required to self-isolate by law anymore, the health service still recommends staying at home and avoiding contact with others.

Zoe Covid Study App reports that fully-jabbed patients might be experiencing slightly different symptoms.

Zoe said: “Fewer symptoms were reported over a shorter period of time by those who had already had a jab, suggesting that they were falling less seriously ill and getting better more quickly.”

Collecting data from their Covid-positive users, the research app found that five symptoms were especially prevalent in those with the vaccine.

The potential signs in fully jabbed patient can be:

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  • 5 часов назад 19.08.2022Health Care
    Hypothyroidism: Two ‘early’ signs of an underactive thyroid to spot when going to the loo

    The thyroid gland sits at the front of the neck, where it secretes hormones that control how the body’s cells use energy. When too little of the hormone is secreted, metabolism slows down, which can cause a cascade of symptoms. Among the earliest signs of a low thyroid may be constipation and hard stool.

    In 2019, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said that hypothyroidism is found in about two percent of the UK population and in more than five percent of those over 60.

    It added: “Women are five to 10 times more likely to be affected than men.

    “Long-term consequences of hypothyroidism include cardiovascular disease and an increase in cardiovascular risk factors, including hypercholesterolemia.”

    As the body’s metabolism slows, certain bodily changes are likely to raise suspicion.

    An overactive thyroid on the contrary speeds up bodily systems, including digestion, which may result in more frequent bowel movements, and in some cases diarrhoea.

    These symptoms, however, will vary depending on the severity of the condition, and how long the body has been deprived of the correct amount of hormone.

    Patients who present with one or more of the above symptoms should contact their GP, who may arrange a referral to see an endocrinologist.

    It’s important to address the symptoms as they emerge because sometimes, hypothyroidism progresses to other complications.

    These can include high cholesterol, infertility, and life-threatening depression in some cases.

    Another complication of leaving hypothyroidism is myxoedema coma, which tends to be linked to increased thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and low T4 and T3 levels.

    T3 is one of two major hormones made by the thyroid, which works closely with T4 to regulate how the body uses energy.

    Together the hormones also impact the body’s temperature, metabolism and heart rate, so getting levels correct is important.

    According to Endocrineweb, the condition has two fairly common causes; inflammation of the thyroid gland and medication treatments that affect the gland’s ability to make enough hormone.

    Inflammation of the thyroid gland can lead to a large percentage of the cells of the thyroid getting damaged or dying, making them incapable of producing sufficient hormones.

    Less common causes will include:

    Unfortunately, the NHS states that there is no way of preventing an underactive thyroid, but looking out for signs can prevent further complications.

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  • 5 часов назад 19.08.2022Health Care
    How to live longer: The supplement shown to ‘reverse ageing hallmarks’ in older humans

    The focus of ageing science has shifted from living longer to prolonging good health. In order to achieve this, scientists have had to map out the hallmarks of ageing – and their efforts have paid off. According to new findings, the supplement GlyNAC may reverse ageing signs in older people and mice, boosting longevity by 24 percent in rodents.

    GlyNAC is a blend of amino acids which act as a precursor to glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant, according to Today’s Practitioner.

    “In addition to defending against oxidative damage, glutathione is also known to help offer protection from toxic metals including mercury,” adds the health body.

    There is evidence supporting the use of GlyNAC for psoriasis, mobility issues, peripheral artery disease patients and Parkinson’s disease.

    New research published in the Journals of Gerontology, Series A, has found older people taking GlyNAC for 16 weeks reverse certain signs of ageing.

    These defects included oxidative stress, glutathione deficiency, and other hallmarks relating to inflammation, insulting resistance, stem cell fatigue among others.

    Improvements in these markers were reflected in better muscle strength, gait speed, exercise capacity, waist circumference and blood pressure.

    The corresponding author of the study, Doctor Rajagopal Sekhar, professor of medicine in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at Baylor said the effects were limited to subjects taking the supplement.

    He noted: “This is the first randomised clinical trial of GlyNAC supplementation in order humans, and it found that a wide variety of age-associated abnormalities improved in older adults supplemented with GlyNAC, while no improvements were seen in those receiving a placebo.

    “GlyNAC supplementation in ageing mice increases their length of life by 24 percent.”

    This finding was published in the journal Nutrients in March after scientists hypothesised that the supplement would increase longevity.

    Scientists conducted their research on mice to determine the length of life, age-associated GSH deficiency, mitochondrial dysfunction, and genomic damage in the heart, liver, and kidneys.

    The authors noted: “These studies provide proof-of-concept that GlyNAC supplementation can increase lifespan and improve multiple age-associated defects.

    “GlyNAC could be a novel and simple nutritional supplement to improve lifespan and health span, and warrants additional investigation.”

    Doctor Sekhar has spent two decades studying natural ageing in humans to identify the mechanisms underpinning age-related decline.

    He noted: “Gait speed is reported to be associated with survival in older humans. Our randomised clinical trial found a significant improvement in gait speed in older humans supplemented with GlyNAC.

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  • 9 часов, 32 минуты назад 18.08.2022Health Care
    News The Buckshee

    As monkeypox spreads across the country, new data suggests a worrying trend: Black and Latino men who have sex with men are far more likely to catch the virus than their white counterparts.

    While the numbers are limited, they are stark. Nearly 28 percent of monkeypox cases in the U.S. right now are among Black individuals, and 33 percent are among Hispanic people, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Thursday, despite those groups only comprising 13.6 and 18.9 percent of the population, respectively.

    Despite these warning signs, LGBTQ health advocates and public health experts said government messaging is failing to reach the communities that need it most, and fear federal and state health officials are repeating the mistakes of not only the coronavirus pandemic but also the HIV epidemic, which still disproportionately affects people of color. They want the government to engage more closely with organizations that those in affected communities trust, focus outreach in neighborhoods where they live and in the media that they consume, and create better tools for people to seek information and access care.

    “We had a chance to do better,” said Matthew Rose, a longtime health equity and HIV advocate. “We know the challenges from Covid. It’s so important to find trusted messengers, but we continue to do broad-based messaging. Then we wait, and say, ‘Look at all this disparity again.’”

    Federal health officials said they are determined to eliminate the disparities.

    The administration announced on Thursday a pilot program that will make up to 50,000 monkeypox vaccine doses available from the Strategic National Stockpile to states and localities to distribute at LGBTQ events to better reach at-risk communities, including Black and Latino individuals. Walensky said states’ requests for doses must also include information about “how they will address health equity in delivery of both messaging as well as vaccine.”

    “We know working really closely with organizations and trusted messengers for the populations has been really critical,” Demetre Daskalakis, deputy coordinator for the White House monkeypox response, said during a briefing. “We continue to do the work and go deeper and deeper into engagement.”

    But the early CDC data on disparities may understate the problem. Of the more than 13,500 confirmed U.S. monkeypox cases, the CDC only has race and ethnicity data for about 6,000, Walensky said. And only a handful of states, including California, New York and New Jersey, routinely report those breakdowns for monkeypox cases.

    In some states and cities, disparities are even greater than the national trend. In Georgia, about 82 percent of monkeypox patients are Black, though Black residents make up about a third of the state’s population. In North Carolina, Black patients make up about 70 percent of cases, though they’re about a fifth of the state’s population.

    In San Francisco, 30 percent of cases are among Latinos, twice the share of the city’s population. In New York City — home to a fifth of the country’s monkeypox patients — two-thirds of those infected are Black or Latino, though Black and Latino people make up a little more than half of the city’s population.

    In Texas, state health officials do not share race and ethnicity data publicly because the data is missing for more than half of monkeypox patients, an agency spokesperson said. But state data requested by POLITICO show that of the 452 cases for which demographic information does exist, more than 42 percent are among Black people.

    In Washington state, health officials declined to release any demographic data because they are “still compiling and reconciling” their figures. Maryland health officials pointed POLITICO to the CDC’s monkeypox map, which doesn’t include any information on race or ethnicity.

    Without more transparency, LGBTQ health advocates and public health experts say it’s impossible to know whether monkeypox vaccination, testing and treatment are reaching those who need it most.

    “We’ve seen historical and systemic discrimination when it comes to delivering effective prevention and treatment to these members of our community,” said Torrian Baskerville, director of HIV and health equity for the Human Rights Campaign, the LGBTQ advocacy group. “As we have learned many times, a public health response that does not center equitable care and treatment is a failed response.”

    Though it’s not yet clear why communities of color are once again being hit so hard in another outbreak, public health experts believe a lack of targeted outreach to those communities is aggravating existing disparities.

    “It’s the same old story, unfortunately,” said Jesus Ramirez-Valles, chief of the University of California San Francisco’s Division of Prevention Science. “If you want to speak about abortion, how about you have a woman speaking about that? It’s exactly the same thing with this. You need an African American young man talking about this, a Latino man, an Asian American gay man talking about this in the language we use, through the channels we use.”

    The same social determinants of health that made people of color more at risk for contracting Covid-19 — including not having access to nutritious food, living in high-stress environments because of high crime rates, a lack of access to health care and public-facing jobs — are also playing a role with monkeypox, experts said.

    “In every pandemic where there is good documentation, the marginalized populations suffer the most,” said John Swartzberg, a clinical professor emeritus of infectious diseases and vaccinology at UC Berkeley. “Covid-19 and monkeypox are no exception.”

    Poverty, lack of education and living in “toxic stress” environments can make it difficult for people to stay healthy, sexually and otherwise, said Elena Rios, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association.

    A study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law found that 47 percent of LGBTQ people of color live in a low-income household, compared to 36 percent of their white counterparts, and 27 percent of LGBTQ people of color reported fair or poor health, compared to 22 percent for white LGBTQ adults. Separate research also shows that some communities of color contract sexually transmitted infections at higher rates than their white counterparts.

    The kinds of jobs that people of color disproportionately do in America may also play a role in the outbreak, as they did in the early days of Covid-19 in particular, said Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition.

    “You have a mixture of people of color having jobs that put them in contact with more people day to day — service industry jobs, retail … people who staff DMVs or Social Security offices,” Kirby York said.

    Monkeypox is not airborne, and therefore is nowhere near as contagious as SARS-CoV-2. The CDC said the virus is mostly spreading through intimate contact, including sex. But the agency said it can also spread through direct contact with another person’s monkeypox rash, or by touching objects, like bedding or towels, that have been used by somebody with monkeypox.

    Seeing how the early phase of pandemic hit communities of color hardest has raised public and official awareness about the systemic inequities in the nation’s health care system.

    “I think Covid-19 woke people up to the opportunity to understand that racial and ethnic communities live in a world of health disparities,” Rios said. “They have social determinants in their lives that actually contribute to why there are more diseases in our poor communities or in our racially mixed communities.”

    But that makes it even more frustrating to see the same patterns playing out in the government’s monkeypox response, advocates say — particularly when it comes to messaging about the virus, how it spreads, and how to get a vaccine.

    The CDC said that it has worked to get information about monkeypox in Black and Latino communities by connecting with community-based organizations and spreading the word where Black and Latino gay and bisexual men gather online, like the social app Jack’d and the website Deviant Events. It has also collaborated with LGBTQ figures Shea Couleé from RuPaul’s Drag Race and Billy Porter from the FX TV series Pose.

    But the message is still not reaching Black and brown communities, LGBTQ advocates said, and many are concerned that the inequities in vaccine distribution already surfacing could make racial disparities in this outbreak worse.

    Low-paying jobs can also “make it difficult to take the time or the resources to get medical care or to learn about what’s even happening with MPV,” Kirby York said, using an acronym for the virus.

    “Working in corporate America, there might be an email about MPV or Covid that comes out from the HR department that everyone sees. You have a chance of getting that information in your day-to-day life,” she said. “If you don’t work in that kind of environment, it’s a lot harder.”

    “If there aren’t advertisements, billboards, public service announcements on Black radio, specialized messaging for health care providers and clinics that are in Black neighborhoods, then you are not reaching the Black LGBTQ+ community.”

    Local officials are making adjustments to compensate.

    In Chicago, where Latinos make up about 31 percent of cases, Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady said public health officials have prioritized distributing monkeypox vaccines to providers who primarily serve a Latino population.

    She said it’s showing results in increasing the share of the city’s vaccinated population that is Latino: “Already, I can tell you just over the last week we’ve seen that move from 14 percent to 16 percent.”

    In Atlanta, where the vast majority of monkeypox cases are among Black men, the vaccine supply is also improving, said Eric Paulk, deputy director of Georgia Equality. But he worries that may not apply to at-risk people living outside the city.

    “There is Atlanta, and then there is the rest of Georgia,” he said. “My concerns are about what distribution looks like outside the Atlanta metro.”

    Both structural and cultural barriers, including persistent homophobia, “may be more prevalent in other parts of the state,” he said.

    One of the most important things health officials can do, advocates said, is to be open about the data and the inequalities they see. In North Carolina, for instance, the state published a press release calling itself out for failing to reach the Black community. While 70 percent of cases in North Carolina are in Black men, only 24 percent of vaccines have gone to Black recipients.

    In response, Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley said the state is now targeting its outreach specifically to Black men who have sex with men. A recent vaccine event at private parties in Mecklenburg County — home to Charlotte and the epicenter of the state’s outbreak — vaccinated 174 people, 98 percent of them Black men.

    “We need to make our most powerful tool for this community — vaccines — reachable,” Kinsley said. “That’s how we’re going to close this gap, by continuing to lean towards action with education about harm reduction strategies that people can put into place to reduce their exposure, but then also vaccination.”

    That approach is earning plaudits from some within North Carolina’s LGBTQ community.

    “In the midst of concern and trouble and mistrust, they’re willing to come forward and say, ‘Even if we haven’t done great in the past, we want to do better, and here’s our commitment to do that,’” said Rebby Kern, director of education policy at Equality NC. “The level of transparency that we’ve seen on the ground right now is important … to say, ‘Here’s the disparity. We have, essentially, not met the mark on this. Let’s do better.’”

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  • 9 часов, 32 минуты назад 18.08.2022Health Care
    News The Buckshee

    Top U.S. health officials have known for years that the country’s Strategic National Stockpile did not have enough doses of a smallpox vaccine that is now key to the monkeypox fight, according to three former senior officials and a current official working on the monkeypox response.

    The U.S. has stockpiled Jynneos, the vaccine by Bavarian Nordic, which is also being used to combat monkeypox.

    The U.S. never had the money to purchase the millions of doses that experts felt were necessary, the officials said. Now, that shortfall is hampering efforts to contain the growing monkeypox outbreak, one in which the Biden administration has come under fire for failing to deliver enough vaccine for the millions of people at risk.

    “Every time I meet a member of Congress, I let them know what the need is,” said Dawn O’Connell, head of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, in an interview. “The SNS … has been chronically underfunded. We need to get this SNS fully funded and stocked against what we think the next threats are.”

    The Strategic National Stockpile was supposed to have about 120 million Jynneos doses, enough for 60 million people, said the officials who were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive government matters. Jynneos was stockpiled as an alternative to ACAM 2000, a different vaccine that is not suitable for people who are immunocompromised. Prior to 2019, the U.S. had just 20 million doses. In 2020, the U.S. purchased just over 1 million doses to replenish expired vaccine.

    Paul Chaplin, CEO of Bavarian Nordic, told POLITICO on Thursday that after the vaccine received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 2019, the U.S. stockpile requirement called for the protection of 66 million at-risk Americans. That meant about 132 million doses of the Jynneos shot were needed for people who cannot receive ACAM 2000 in the event of a smallpox outbreak.

    “That’s people [who] are vulnerable who shouldn’t really receive first and second generation vaccines,” Chaplin said.

    An official at the Department of Health and Human Services suggested the 120 million dose figure was higher than the government threshold but did not dispute that the Jynneos stockpile level was below what it should have been, and declined to provide what the SNS requirements actually say.

    The senior officials who spoke to POLITICO said the requirements for the stockpile — levels set in part by HHS — often shift and are, at times, outdated. For example, one former senior official said the department kept two numbers on hand — the number of doses the stockpile could afford to purchase and the number of doses that were actually needed to distribute to a certain population. The number of Jynneos doses the government could afford as of 2019, that official said, was around 40 million. But money for Jynneos shots competed with funding for more pressing priorities and threats the administration perceived as more likely.

    “That’s not preparedness,” said the former senior health official. “It’s like telling the military … you have a requirement for 100 airplanes, but we’re only gonna give you 10 because that’s all we can afford. And then we have to fight. Good luck.”

    Since the Biden administration assumed office, there have been ongoing discussions within the ASPR about adjusting the requirement levels and about how to get additional funding to help ramp up supply of critical medicines and shots.

    In November 2021, senior officials from HHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a meeting to discuss responses to a potential smallpox outbreak. Officials there spoke about the Jynneos shot and noted many doses had previously expired. They planned to ask Congress for additional funding to shore up supply, according to one of the former officials who attended the meeting.

    “There was a push after that to get hard, concrete numbers and budget numbers because they didn’t want to report … this huge gap [in supply] back to the White House,” one of the officials said.

    In May of 2021, POLITICO reported that the Biden administration rerouted $2 billion from the SNS to help handle the surge of unaccompanied migrants at the border. In its most recent budget request, ASPR asked for $975 million in funds for the stockpile, about $130 million more than was enacted in 2022.

    “We all saw what happened in 2020 when the PPE we expected to be there wasn’t there. I think Congress felt that acutely as well when their constituents were searching for things,” O’Connell said. “So it is really important for me to use that as a critical example of why we need to move forward and make sure the SNS is well funded against the current material threats.”

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  • 11 часов назад 18.08.2022Health Care
    Diabetes: The berry that may ‘significantly’ lower blood sugar – ‘faster’ than some drugs

    Diabetes is understood as a lifelong disorder of carbohydrate metabolism, that requires meticulous management. It can occur when insulin production falters, or when the body becomes desensitised to the hormone. This result in high blood sugar levels, which may be easier to control with the help of Juniper berries.

    According to The Berry Company, juniper berries have several benefits that render them useful in the treatment of various ailments.

    It states: “Juniper extract has traditionally been used as a directive to help arthritis and diabetes, while also used in the treatment of gastrointestinal and autoimmune disorders.”

    Indeed, juniper berries have traditionally been used in medicine in the treatment of wounds, pulmonary sickness and ulcers.

    In recent years, however, the fruit has garnered a great amount of attention for its anti-diabetic and anti-hyperlipidemic potential.

    The ethanolic extract is developed using a process used in fine liquor distillation, while the second is prepared by evaporating a watery solution.

    Results showed that rodents treated with the ethanolic extract, saw their blood glucose levels reduce to 94 percent, 81 percent, 66 percent, 45 percent and 40 percent at one, three, five, seven and nine hours respectively.

    The aqueous solution, on the other hand, had no effect at all.

    What’s more, the study demonstrated that treatment with juniper berry extract reduced total cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 57 percent and 37 percent, respectively, compared with a control group.

    Some of these effects have been put down to the fruit’s ability to reduce insulin resistance and enhance the cellular uptake of glucose from the bloodstream.

    Writing in the journal Planta Medica, researchers suggested these effects could be achieved through an increase in peripheral glucose consumption, or glucose-induced insulin secretion.

    Many researchers have attributed these qualities to the fruit’s high concentrations of antioxidants.

    In fact, juniper berries are rich in 87 antioxidant phytochemicals, including:

    Although there is a lack of research on the effects of juniper berries on humans, there is overwhelming evidence that the berries’ antioxidants may protect the heart too.

    Published in the International Journal of Pharma and Bio Science, one 2013 study suggested this protection may come from an increase in HDL cholesterol.

    These findings are alluring, but it’s worth mentioning that the majority of research connecting juniper berries with treatment for diabetes have been limited to lab and animal testing, warranting further research on humans.

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  • 11 часов назад 18.08.2022Health Care
    Covid vaccine: Exact date booster jab rollout begins – key symptoms to look out for

    A new COVID-19 vaccine that protects against the Omicron strain will be offered to millions of Britons later this year. The new formula will be rolled out as part of the autumn booster jab programme, to protect people who have already had other coronavirus vaccines. Scientists say the extra dose will provide “stronger protection” against the current Omicron strain, but when can you expect to get yours?

    The vaccine rollout will begin in just two weeks as UK’s autumn booster programme gets underway.

    From Monday, September 5, the Omicron-busting dose will be offered to the most vulnerable groups in society.

    NHS England revealed that care home residents and people who are housebound will be the first groups to receive the new booster jab.

    Once the most vulnerable groups have received their dose, the wider rollout will begin.

    The national booking service is expected to open on September 5 to allow the second tier of high-risk groups to book their vaccine.

    NHS England stated that those who are “most susceptible” to serious illness from COVID-19, and those aged 75 or over will be able to book appointments from September 12.

    As with previous booster programs rolled out by the NHS, the new dose will gradually be made available to more people, as long as it has been at least three months since their last dose of an existing coronavirus vaccine.

    A total of 26 million people in England will be eligible for the autumn booster, which can be easily booked online, or by calling 119 once the system opens on Septemer 5.

    Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Vaccines remain our best defence against Covid and this safe and effective vaccine will broaden immunity and potentially improve protection against variants as we learn to live with this virus.”

    The booster dose, known as “Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron”, contains 25 micrograms of Omicron vaccine and 25 micrograms of the original coronavirus vaccine.

    These kinds of vaccines which work for two infections are known as bivalents and have been in development by global manufacturers since the emergence of the Omicron variant.

    According to Dr Mary Ramsay of the UK Healthy Security Agency, the autumn booster will “increase protection” against the current strains for those who choose to take up the offer.

    While it is not an exact match to the current BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, the Spikevax vaccine is close enough to give a “significantly higher” immune response, Moderna has said.

    Scientists explained that the antibody boost is expected to further reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death while offering better protection against transmission.

    NHS England has worked hard to prepare for the autumn campaign which is among a “package” of NHS measures to prepare for a challenging winter.

    The health body’s director for vaccinations and screening, Steve Russell said: “This winter will be the first time we see the real effects of both Covid and flu in full circulation as we go about life as normal – and so it is vital that those most susceptible to serious illness from these viruses come forward for the latest jab in order to protect themselves.”

    Safety monitoring has shown that the side effects observed in clinical trials of the Spikevax were the same as those seen for the original Moderna booster dose.

    According to GOV.UK, these symptoms were and were typically mild and self-resolving, and no serious safety concerns were identified.

    Vaccinated individuals are more likely to experience a milder bout of symptoms if they do become infected with Omicron.

    According to findings published in the infectious disease and epidemiology journal Eurosurveillance, there are eight main symptoms reported by fully-vaccinated individuals infected with Omicron.

    These include:

    The study found that coughs, runny noses, and fatigue were among the most common symptoms in vaccinated individuals, while sneezing and fever were least common.

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Health Care Covid: Infections continue to fall but millions still have the virus - symptoms to spot