In the wake of coronavirus lockdowns and tough restrictions, another horrendous virus has been taking hold of Australians with a strikingly similar symptoms to Covid-19.
With immunity at an all time low, thousands emerging from nearly two years of isolation to return to their regular social schedules are being dealt another nasty health blow.
How To Tell Difference Between Super Cold and Covid-19
The virus, dubbed the “super cold”, has reportedly been spreading like wildfire among Aussies, and striking them down with a ferocity similar to Covid-19.
The familiarity of symptoms leaves many to initially suspect a Covid diagnosis, however subsequent testing continually returns negative results.
Reported symptoms include “sandpaper throat”, head and body aches, runny nose and fatigue, with the illness sometimes lasting weeks.
People with the “super cold” typically won’t lose their taste or smell like they might with a Covid diagnosis, however anyone who suspects the illness is still encouraged to get tested.
Rampant cases of the bug were reported in the UK late last year during the country’s post-lockdown reopening, which experts said was a result of nearly two years of lockdowns and social distancing.
The same is now occurring in Australia as mask wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene begin to take a back seat.
An extended period of not being exposed to viruses that typically existed in the community has left people’s respiratory tracts with inadequate recent experience to bounce back as they normally would, health experts said.
Upper respiratory tract infections were already on the rise as a result, and its expected cases of the flu would be following the same trend.
The flu also presents similar symptoms to Covid, including headaches, aches, pains and fever, and could take between 10 and 14 days to recover from.
An influx of travellers was likely to add to the problem, with people entering the country from overseas and bringing viruses entirely foreign to Australians.
Dr Ian Mackay, a virologist from the University of Queensland, said the traditional belief that respiratory illnesses were caused by colder weather had been challenged in the wake of Covid.
Most recent tall spikes in cold and flu in Australia had occurred during warmer months, suggesting the numbers had more to do with immunity levels than seasonality.
“Clearly, they’re not seasonal. It’s more about how much of the population’s immunity is up to speed with defending against them … because when it’s low, these viruses can do what they like, whenever they like,” Dr Mackay previously told Sydney Morning Herald.
GP Dr Philippa Kaye said prevalence of the illnesses was similar to what was normally recorded in pre-Covid winter months.
“We are mixing in a way that we haven’t been mixing over the past 18 months,” Dr Kaye previously told the BBC.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) encouraged Australians to continue wearing masks and practising social distancing beyond when rules enforced them.