25.11.2022
‘We still need to be careful’: What are the ‘top’ Covid symptoms after a single jab?

Despite a recent fall in Covid infections in recent weeks, the disease is still lurking around. While the vaccine offers protection from severe Covid, vaccinated people still report getting Covid and suffering all sorts of symptoms. The UK’s largest study on Covid symptoms, the Zoe Health Study has outlined the most common symptoms experienced by those who have been jabbed just once.

The study reported that headache is the “top” Covid symptom for those who have been vaccinated once.

This is followed by a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, and a persistent cough.

The health body specifically recommends taking “reasonable precautions” if you are sneezing, despite there being no official government advice.

Sternutation is the medical term for sneezing, which is your body trying to clear your nose of bacteria and viruses.

The Zoe Health study creators recommend that people who have had one dose of the vaccine but are sneezing without any explanation should take reasonable precautions.

They state: “Sneezing a lot could be a potential sign that someone vaccinated has COVID-19 and, however mild, should take a test and self-isolate to protect their friends, family and colleagues.”

While sneezing often doesn’t feel serious, it can help the virus to spread as the droplets in a sneeze carry Covid.

They wrote: “Try to cover all coughs and sneezes with tissue or the inside of your elbow to minimise the spread of droplets.

“Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth until you wash your hands.”

It added: “Whether you’ve had your COVID jabs or not, we all still need to be careful to protect your own health as well as those around you in your family, workplace, and community.”

The rankings of Covid symptoms after two vaccinations is slightly different from the rankings for people with one vaccine.

It goes as follows:

The most common symptoms have changed a lot over the months. It’s noticeable that loss of smell and shortness of breath are much less common these days.

One reason for this may be the rise of new variants, such as omicron BA.5.

Zoe explains: “There are a few reasons why symptoms may be changing, including the fact that those who have been vaccinated experience less severe symptoms, as well as more cases being reported by younger people, who we have found experience different, less severe symptoms as well.”

What other illnesses are lurking around this winter?

According to Professor Francois Balloux, director at the UCL Genetics Institute, there is a third prevalent virus alongside Covid and flu to be concerned about.

The professor told Express.co.uk about the threat of RSV – respiratory syncytial virus – which often brings mild, cold-like symptoms.

Most people recover from the disease after around a week or two but RSV is particularly a threat to children and older adults.

The professor explained: “RSV is a leading cause of child hospitalisation and the virus kills more than 100,000 children each year globally. That’s more than 50 times as many children than those who died from Covid throughout the pandemic.”

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  • 2 часа, 59 минут назад 06.12.2022Health Care
    NHS hip and knee op improvements cut hospital stays and boost quality of life

    The turnaround since a national review launched by orthopaedic surgeons in 2012 is likely to have saved the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds.

    A study of the changes confirmed two less effective treatments – uncemented hip implants and knee arthroscopy – were not as common now.

    Author Dr Helen Barratt, an expert in public health medicine at UCL, said: “There have been a number of improvements in care for NHS patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery in England over the past 10 years.

    “Hospitals are now more likely to use procedures that reflect the best research evidence.

    “For example, older patients undergoing hip replacement surgery are more likely to receive an implant which is secured to healthy bone using bone ‘cement’ – an approach which means the implant is less likely to wear out during their lifetime.”

    Uncemented implants are made from material with a rough surface, allowing bone to grow onto the implant and hold it in place.

    A 2012 report led by surgeon Professor Tim Briggs recommended their use should be reduced in favour of cemented implants which are less likely to need revision.

    He launched the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme for orthopaedics. Other measures included reducing use of a type of keyhole surgery called knee arthroscopy.

    The UCL-led team analysed data from 700,000 patients who underwent hip or knee surgery at 126 NHS trusts between April 2009 and March 2018. They also interviewed over 50 NHS staff.

    The study, published in BMJ Open, found substantial improvements when comparing the periods 2009-12 and 2015-18.

    There was a 29 per cent drop in the number of uncemented hip implants for over 65s. And use of knee arthroscopy prior to knee replacements fell by 58 per cent.

    Patients’ average levels of function and quality of life six months after surgery improved. And the typical length of hospital stay reduced by around a day.

    Researchers could not say exactly how much GIRFT had caused the changes or to assess the economic impact.

    But the NHS estimates it has cut the number of days orthopaedic patients spend in hospital by a third for hip and knee replacements and 11 per cent for neck fractures.

    This equates to 276,000 fewer bed days per year, likely saving hundreds of millions of pounds over the last decade.

    GIRFT has been expanded across more than 40 medical specialities and Prof Briggs was recently appointed NHS clinical lead for the elective backlog recovery.

    He said: “The UCL study highlights GIRFT’s contribution to improving clinical practice in orthopaedics and we welcome its key findings of improved outcomes for patients undergoing hip and knee procedures over the past ten years.

    “We continue to support clinicians and managers in using GIRFT’s data methodology across more than 40 specialties to deliver real change and ensure that we provide the best quality of treatment and care in the NHS.”

    Dr Wendy Holden, medical advisor at the charity Arthritis Action, said patients could expect fewer complications or unnecessary surgeries.

    She said: “It’s great to see these huge improvements. Orthopaedic surgeons, managers and trusts have worked very hard over the last 10 years to improve surgical care so that it is now high quality, evidence-based and consistent across the country.”

    The improvements are vital for arthritis sufferers who want to know their operation will relieve pain and restore function for many years, Dr Holden said.

    She added: “GIRFT has also saved the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds and improved the efficiency of operating lists.

    “Once the Covid surgical backlog has been cleared, patients with arthritis can expect much shorter waiting times and fewer cancelled procedures.”

    Meanwhile, a report suggests pandemic disruption to NHS operations in 2020 was worse than for any other European health system for which data was available.

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s state of health report showed hip replacements in the UK dropped by 46 per cent, knee replacements by 68 per cent and cataract surgery by 47 per cent, compared with 2019.

    The averages across European Union nations were 14, 24 and 23 per cent, respectively.

    The UK also ranked second worst for the drop in cancer surgery with a fall of 26 per cent.

    Lucy Morley Williams waited 18 months for a right hip replacement after a GP referral.

    She has suffered with arthritis for 15 years which caused structural problems in her hips, making her “feel like a wobbly table”.

    Lucy, 53, was eventually treated at a local private hospital, paid for by the NHS as part of a drive to clear the Covid backlog.

    Her surgery in November 2021 went well but her recovery process was complicated.

    After her hip dislocated last December, she spent three hours on the floor waiting for paramedics and then three nights in hospital.

    Lucy said: “I’m now back on crutches and spent long days in the NHS hospital. The care by doctors, nurses, physios, occupational therapists are brilliant.

    “I do feel that St Richards Hospital in West Sussex is deserving of its outstanding rating.

    “I’ve been referred back to the falls team to get specific help for my joints and help to deal with the falls.”

    Lucy said her quality of life had improved since the hip replacement. She has been able to come off very strong painkillers and no longer needs stools around the house to rest on.

    She added: “Arthritis doesn’t get the attention it deserves, as many people see it as something that’s not life-threatening and therefore not as urgent as other illnesses.

    “But the truth is, it’s life-debilitating. I am in constant pain because of my arthritis. The NHS is so stretched these days, and there are just so many people in pain.”

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  • 4 часа, 59 минут назад 06.12.2022Health Care
    Smokers urged to quit ‘sooner rather than later’ as study highlights blood pressure risk

    A study published in the Journal of Hypertension assessed the impact of the popular habit on cardiovascular health.

    They assessed a document compiled by China Nationwide Ambulatory and Home Blood Pressure Registry in 2020.

    In their conclusion, they wrote: “In summary, the study hints always to collect information on cigarette smoking in all individuals undergoing out-of-office BP measurement. Among smokers, heavy smokers should be considered as a potential target for the screening of masked hypertension, particularly if their office BP is in the normal or high-normal range and if they are middle-aged male individuals.

    “In this context, future research is needed to develop optimal screening strategies and to understand population-level implications of using ABPM or HBPM for the detection of masked hypertension.”

    As a result, the conclusion suggested that those who smoked should be assessed for blood pressure reduction or hypertension prevention measures.

    This is not the first and has certainly not been the last time smoking has been linked with poor cardiovascular health.

    A study conducted by the John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology concluded that smoking cigarettes doubled the risk of heart failure.

    They wrote that cigarette smoking represented a significant risk factor for both types of heart failure, reduced ejection fraction and preserved ejection fraction.

    Heart failure, says the NHS, is when “the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly” and usually happens “because the heart has become too weak or stiff”.

    Reduced ejection fraction occurs when the left ventricle, the main pump in the heart, fails to contract sufficiently when pumping blood out of the heart while preserved ejection fraction is when that same left ventricle, that same main pump, fails to relax sufficiently after contracting.

    For this study, the researchers looked at records of a 9,500 people who took part in a long running study in four American communities.

    They found the risk of heart failure rose even after participants had stopped smoking and continued on for a number of years.

    Senior study author Professor Kunihiro Matsushita wrote: “These findings underline the importance of preventing smoking in the first place, especially among children and young adults.

    “We hope our results will encourage current smokers to quit sooner rather than later, since the harm of smoking can last for as many as three decades.”

    The main symptoms of heart failure, say the NHS, are:• Breathlessness• Fatigue• Swollen ankles and legs• Feeling lightheaded and fainting.

    However, these aren’t the only the symptoms, less common signs such as a persistent cough, wheezing, bloating, loss of appetite, weight gain, weight loss, confusion, a fast heart rate, and a heart palpitations can also occur.

    For most patients, heart failure is not an easy fix. Like a proverbial broken heart it has to be managed, but unlike that metaphorical one, in almost all cases it cannot be completely mended.

    Treatments for heart failure range from lifestyle changes through to medication, the implanting of devices in the chest, and surgery.

    Lifestyle changes include eating a balanced, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption.

    Alongside this, heart failure can make an individual more susceptible to infections which can makes them more vulnerable during the winter months to cold and flu viruses.

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    Sign in your back that ‘doesn’t go away with rest’ could signal advanced prostate cancer

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK, accounting for around 52,300 new cases every year. It is also one of the most deadly forms of the disease, causing the second-highest amount of deaths among men in the UK. Therefore, if you notice any of the signs it is important to get them checked as soon as possible.

    Unfortunately symptoms don’t always appear in the early stages of prostate cancer.

    In fact you can live for years with the disease without realising.

    Cancer Research UK explains: “Most prostate cancers start in the outer part of the prostate gland.

    “This means that to cause symptoms, the cancer needs to be big enough to press on the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis. This is called urethra.”

    However, if the cancer does start pressing on the urethra you might experience:

    These symptoms could be caused by other issues though – but it is still important to get it checked out.

    Other patients will only experience signs of prostate cancer once it has spread to other parts of the body.

    This includes pain in the back or bones that doesn’t go away even with rest.

    Other symptoms of metastatic (meaning it has spread) prostate cancer are:

    If you notice any of these signs Cancer Research UK recommends seeking medical help.

    Depending on your symptoms, your doctor might carry out a PSA blood test as high levels of the protein in your blood can be an indicator of cancer.

    They might also examine your prostate gland, to decide if a referral to a specialist is required.

    MRI scans are also used sometimes to assess the prostate for possible problems, though biopsies can be necessary for further assessment.

    There are a number of options available depending on how severe your cancer is.

    The cause of prostate cancer is not known exactly, however certain factors can increase your risk.

    These include:

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  • 4 часа, 59 минут назад 06.12.2022Health Care
    A warm drink before bed could help you sleep with a cold – ‘loosens up’ congestion

    Many of us struggle to sleep at certain points in our lives due a variety of reasons. And as the weather gets colder the added issue of dealing with winter illnesses can wreak havoc with our sleeping patterns. However, there are ways to aid sleep in spite of the symptoms brought on by colds or flu.

    Nic Shacklock from Online Bedrooms explained: “It can be really tough to fall asleep when you’re feeling under the weather.

    “Common cold and flu symptoms can keep you up at night and the lack of sleep can also make us feel even worse the next day.

    “Doing things like elevating your head with pillows and having a warm drink before bed can help to relieve some symptoms, helping you get a better night’s sleep and hopefully you’ll be over that cold before you know it.”

    He shared seven tips for getting to sleep while battling winter illnesses below.

    Try to have a warm drink about an hour and half before bed, this will help soothe a sore throat and will loosen up any congestion you may have.

    Things like ginger tea and hot water with lemon or honey are good options.

    Lying completely flat can cause a build up of mucus in your throat which is what triggers coughing at night.

    To prevent this from happening prop yourself up on two pillows.

    Avoid using too many pillows as this can cause a strain on your neck.

    Keep your room at a consistent temperature

    The temperature of the room is a key factor in how well we sleep.

    The optimum temperature is around 19C so it’s important to stick to this.

    Make sure you’re sleeping with blankets that you can easily remove if you begin to feel too warm.

    Menthol rubs can’t get rid of any congestion but they are good for giving you some temporary relief which can be helpful when trying to nod off.

    Just gently rub a generous amount on your neck and chest before bed.

    Try to have some over-the-counter medicine in the late evening.

    This way the medication should kick in before bed providing you with some temporary relief to fall asleep.

    If you prefer natural remedies then essential oils are a great option. Oils like peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus are good for relieving cold and flu symptoms.

    Place a few drops of oil into a bowl of steaming water, place your head a few inches away from it and inhale.

    You might be tempted to rely on a nightcap to help you drift off to sleep but this isn’t ideal if you’re unwell.

    Not only should you be avoiding alcohol when taking medication but it can also worsen symptoms like a sore throat.

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  • 6 часов, 58 минут назад 05.12.2022Health Care
    ‘Emesis’ can be a side effect of the Covid booster vaccine – what is it?

    One of the potential side effects is emesis.

    While this term may sound unfamiliar, it is the clinical term for vomiting, defined as “the oral eviction of gastrointestinal contents of the gut and the muscles of the thoracoabdominal wall”, says a study from 2017.

    As well as an unpleasant experience, it is a phenomenon that is a common symptom of many conditions from food poisoning to the consumption of too much alcohol.

    It is also a common symptom of the COVID-19 vaccine and is one of several which recipients could expect once it has been administered.

    According to the NHS, other side effects of the booster, include:• Tenderness in the arm where you had your injection• Feeling tired• Headache• Aches and chills• Diarrhoea• Nausea• Mild flu-like symptoms.

    The NHS adds: “These common side effects are much less serious than developing coronavirus or complications associated with coronavirus. They usually go away within a few days.

    “If you feel uncomfortable, you can rest and take paracetamol. Make sure you take paracetamol as directed on the label or leaflet. Remember, do not take medicines that contain aspirin if you’re under 16 years of age.

    “If your side effects seem to get worse or if you’re concerned, phone NHS 24 free on 111. Tell them about your vaccination so that they can assess you properly.”

    While this wave of boosters may appear the same as other previous booster programmes, there is one key difference: the vaccines themselves.

    This year, a new type of vaccine has entered the fray, one which can protect people from not one, but two forms of coronavirus.

    Known as bivalent vaccines, these protect people both from the original variant of coronavirus and the original form of the Omicron variant, which spread through the country this time last year.

    Although the virus has changed a great deal since Omicron first spread, the fact the vaccine can protect people from a close relation of the variant will help.

    The United Kingdom was one of the first countries to approve the bivalent vaccine for use and the hope is that it will reduce transmission and help prevent many people from developing severe symptoms.

    On the bivalent jabs, the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) says: “Studies indicate the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine produces a marginally higher immune response against some variants than the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA Original ‘wild-type’ vaccine.

    “The clinical relevance of these small differences is uncertain. ‘Bivalent’ vaccines have been developed by global manufacturers since the emergence and dominance of the Omicron variant.

    “These vaccines are targeted against antigens (substances that induce an immune response) from 2 different COVID-19 strains, or variants.”

    On the bivalent vaccines, Professor Robin Shattock of Imperial College London said in a statement published by the NHS: “We anticipate that the bivalent booster vaccine will give people a broader response to the virus than previous boosters.

    “By giving the immune system a bivalent vaccine that targets both the original and Omicron strains, we’re giving the immune system a wider diversity of targets, so it makes antibodies that are more effective as the virus will likely continue to change over time.”

    Currently people can get their booster if they’re:• Aged 50 and over• Pregnant• Aged five and over and at high risk due to a health condition• Aged five and over and at high risk because of a weakened immune system• Aged 16 and over and lives with someone who has a weakened immune system• Aged 16 and over and is a carer, either paid or unpaid• A frontline health and social care worker.

    More information on boosters and vaccines can be found here.

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  • 6 часов, 58 минут назад 05.12.2022Health Care
    Eating berries with meals could help prevent type 2 diabetes says doctor – backed by study

    Diabetes is a serious and life changing condition that causes the sugar levels in your blood to become too high. Although it is unknown what causes this among type 1 diabetes patients, the more common type 2 diabetes is often linked to lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. Therefore, making certain lifestyle changes could help lower your risk of the condition.

    Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common in the UK, now affecting almost five million people.

    If left untreated it can raise your risk of serious conditions like heart disease and strokes.

    Doctor Vishal Shah from health site Thriva spoke with Express.co.uk about the best lifestyle choices to make to slash your chances of developing diabetes.

    One such choice was to add berries to your meals.

    He explained: “Eating carbohydrates typically results in an increase in blood glucose along with blood insulin which is released to handle the glucose.

    “Dramatic spikes in your blood sugar and insulin increase the risk of heart disease and complications of diabetes.

    “Adding berries to a meal can improve how your body metabolises glucose, so less insulin is needed and glucose levels don’t fluctuate as dramatically.

    “Even though berries contain sugar in the form of fructose, they provide other chemicals which change the way the body responds to food.”

    This was backed by a study published in the Food and Function journal in 2019.

    As part of the research the team conducted a meta-analysis of 22 existing trials assessing the effects of dietary berries in China, Korea,the US and Europe.

    Berries included in the trials were cranberries, blueberries, bilberries, black currants, black raspberries, elderberries, lingonberries, and whortleberries.

    It found that the trials reported “positive outcomes that are relevant to diabetes management”.

    These were decreases in low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol), systolic blood pressure, fasting blood sugar levels, body mass index and average blood sugar levels.

    The study concludes: “Commonly consumed berries, especially cranberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, ameliorate postprandial hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia in overweight or obese adults with insulin resistance, and in adults with the metabolic syndrome.

    “In non-acute long-term studies, these berries either alone, or in combination with other functional foods or dietary interventions, can improve glycemic and lipid profiles, blood pressure and surrogate markers of atherosclerosis.

    “Studies specifically in people with type 2 diabetes are few, and more knowledge is needed.

    “Nevertheless, existing evidence, although sparse, suggests that berries have an emerging role in dietary strategies for the prevention of diabetes and its complications in adults.

    “Despite the beneficial effects of berries on diabetes prevention and management, they must be consumed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.”

    Common symptoms of diabetes include:

    The NHS advises seeing a GP if you have any of these symptoms.

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Health Care ‘We still need to be careful’: What are the 'top' Covid symptoms after a single jab?