Doctor explains why Brits are having ‘worst ever cold’ this autumn season

Wondering why the cold you're experiencing is worse than the one before?

Well it turns out you're not the only one to suffer from severe bouts of the common cold this autumn.

In fact, thousands of Brits are reporting symptoms that could easily be mistaken for coronavirus.

Negative results show they are suffering with a harmless, yet nasty common cold infection.

And there's a reason why it's bad this time around.

Dr Philippa Kaye, a London GP, told the BBC: "We've been seeing a rise in the number of coughs and colds and viral infections.

"We are mixing in a way that we haven't been mixing over the past 18 months."

The spike in viral infections comes as the public returns to normality with the UK less strict on wearing masks and social distancing.

According to Wales Online, new arrivals at universities also face a surge in "Fresher's Flu".

Rebecca London, 24, from Bournemouth told the BBC she caught a cold at a festival and it was "the worst ever".

She added: "I barely slept, I'd wake up in the night just coughing, a constantly runny nose and feeling so tired."

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Noor Hashmi, 18, said: "Normally I'm still able to go about my day, but this one left me with muscle fatigue, a lost voice and headache that meant I've just stayed indoors."

Dr Philippa advises people experiencing symptoms of Covid – like a new cough, fever, loss of sense of taste or smell – to take a PCR test.

With cold symptoms, they can be treated with fluids, rest and over-the-counter painkillers.

Dr Ron Eccles, Emeritus Professor at Cardiff University's School of Biosciences told Patient.info: "If you've been exposed to a particular virus before, you may not develop any symptoms at all, because your immune system has been primed to fight off the infection.

"It's the same process that means you usually only catch chickenpox once.

"With common colds we generally don't have such a strong immune response and therefore we probably don't get lifelong immunity to a particular virus.

"However, we may get a milder response if we are exposed to that virus again."

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