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Medical Experts Caution on Hay Fever Symptoms Misunderstood as New COVID Variant


As the new Covid FLiRT variant spreads across the UK, Brits are being urged to differentiate between typical summer hay fever symptoms and those of the contagious strain of the virus that paralyzed the world in 2020. An expert has issued a stark warning to those who believe they’re merely suffering from hay fever, suggesting their symptoms could indicate something far more serious.

This summer has seen an unusual surge in stuffy noses and heavy coughs as high pollen levels coincide with the rise in Covid variants, putting the nation’s respiratory health at risk. The FLiRT variant is believed to have caused a 24% increase in hospital admissions related to the virus last month and currently accounts for about 40% of all Covid cases in the UK. This concerning figure rises to 69% of cases in the US.

Meanwhile, the number of people suffering from hay fever in the UK continues to rise each year. The NHS estimates that around 20% of UK residents will experience reactions this summer. A mid-June report noted a 147% increase in hay fever sufferers seeking NHS advice, according to the Daily Star.

Those who have previously suffered from hay fever are reporting more severe symptoms this year, making it harder to distinguish between the similar symptoms of Covid, according to the Express and the Mirror. Hay fever symptoms, which include red, itchy or watery eyes, headaches, earaches, loss of smell, sneezing, coughing, and a runny or blocked nose, are being confused with those of the FLiRT variant. This variant presents with fever, persistent coughs, sore throats, stomach upsets, and changes in taste and smell, mimicking hay fever but posing a greater health risk.

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