The BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants are driving Covid infections in the UK (Composite: Mark Hall / NationalWorld)

Covid symptoms: 9 Omicron warning signs affecting fully vaccinated as UK infections rise

The BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants are driving Covid infections in the UK

Covid infections are continuing to rise in England and have hit their highest level for three months, figures show.

A total of 3.8 million people are estimated to have had the virus in the Uk in the week to 13 July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which is up 7% from 3.5 million in the previous seven days.

It marks the highest estimate for total infections since mid-April, but is still below the record high of 4.9 million seen at the peak of the Omicron BA.2 wave at the end of March.

The rise in total UK infections has been driven by a jump in England, where 3.1 million people were likely to have had Covid in the week to 13 July - the equivalent of one in 17.

The ONS describes the trend in the other three nations as “uncertain”.

The current wave is being fuelled by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.4 variants, which are both more transmissible than previous strains.

Although the high levels of Covid antibodies among the population from vaccination or past infection has meant the number of people seriously ill or dying from the virus remain low.

BA.4 and BA.5 are not thought to be any more severe than other strains, although they have been found to have a “growth advantage” over BA.2 and a degree of “immune escape”, meaning they are able to infect people even if they have already been ill from another variant.

Health experts have warned that even people who have had three doses of a Covid vaccine are not immune from catching the virus again, although the symptoms should be less severe.

Researchers in Norway have identified key symptoms of Omicron that are most common among people who are fully vaccinated to help detect infection. The findings, published in medical journal Eurosurveillance, found eight key symptoms in those who had been double jabbed.

Vaccines help protect against the most serious risks of Covid, but it is still possible to get infected even if you have had two or more doses. So if you are fully vaccinated, these are the nine most common symptoms to look for.

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