15 symptoms of the South Africa Covid variant and where it’s been detected

While the UK continues to struggle in its fight against coronavirus, it has now been confirmed that there are multiple cases of the South Africa variant in some parts of the country.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has already warned those that live in the surrounding areas of where the new variant has been identified to stay at home, while the Government has also opted to roll out door-to-door household testing in a bid to prevent this strand of the virus from spreading to more regions.

Though as of yet there is no scientific research completed that suggests this new South African variant is more deadly than the normal strand, it is believed to be up to 70% more transmissible, with some fearing the mutation could prove resistant to some vaccines.

The three main symptoms of COVID-19 are well documented; a loss of taste or sense of smell, a new and persistent cough and a high temperature are all signs that suggest one has contracted the virus.

But according to data published by the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app (an app designed to monitor both the symptoms and spread of the virus), there are at least 15 different symptoms of the disease – these are:

  • Loss of smell (anosmia) & taste

  • High temperature (fever)

  • New & Persistent cough

  • Severe tiredness (fatigue)

  • Headache

  • Abdominal pain

  • Chest pain

  • Sore throat

  • Severe shortness of breath

  • Skipping meals

  • Muscle pains

  • Hoarse voice

  • New confusion (delirium)

  • Diarrhoea

  • Skin rash.

The South African variant was first identified in mid-December of last year, and as a result of it now entering the UK, 80,000 people in areas across Surrey, London, Kent, Hertfordshire, Southport and Walsall will be offered emergency tests.

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Currently, the areas feared to contain the mutation are:

  • W7, N17 and CR4 in London

  • WS2 in Walsall

  • ME15 in Maidstone, Kent

  • PR9 in Southport

  • EN10 in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

  • GU21 in Woking.

Matt Hancock has urged all residents of these areas to stay at home, while urging everyone who lives there over the age of 16 to get a test, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms or not.

The Health Secretary told the press that there was "currently no evidence" to suggest the South African variant was "any more severe, but we need to come down on it hard, and we will".

This news comes in the wake of the UK’s vaccine roll-out performing ahead of schedule, with over 9.3 million people receiving the first dose of their COVID jab.

Mr Hancock has offered a glimmer of hope by claiming the UK could ‘get out of this by spring’ as a result of the success of the vaccines.

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