As health experts issued a warning over a new “ultra-transmissible” Covid strain spreading through the UK, these are the symptoms to be on the lookout for.

The new Covid variant, XBB 1.5, dubbed “The Kraken”, has already been spotted in the UK after spreading through the US.

Experts from The World Health Organisation have expressed their concern about the growth and spread of the new variant.

The organisations technical lead for Covid, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove said: “We are concerned about its growth advantage in particular in some countries in Europe and in the US... particularly the Northeast part of the United States, where XBB.1.5 has rapidly replaced other circulating variants.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

"Our concern is how transmissible it is… and the more this virus circulates, the more opportunities it will have to change.”

These are the symptoms most commonly being reported at the moment according to a ZOE Health Study.

  • Sore throat
  • Blocked nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Cough no phlegm
  • Headache
  • Cough with phlegm
  • Hoarse voice
  • Muscle pains aches
  • Altered smell

Covid XBB.1.5 should be 'wake-up call' to UK

Professor Lawrence Young from Warwick University told the Mail Online that the new variant should be a “wake-up call” to the UK.

He said: “The XBB.1.5 variant is highly infectious and is driving increased hospital admissions in New York, particularly among the elderly. Waning immunity, more indoor mixing because of the cold weather and lack of other mitigations, such as wearing facemasks, are also contributing to this surge of infection in the US.

“This is a wake-up call - a sharp reminder that we can't be complacent about Covid. The threat of XBB.1.5 and other Covid variants further exacerbates the current NHS crisis and stresses the need for us to remain vigilant.”

He added: “We need to continue to monitor levels of infection with different variants in the UK, encourage those who are eligible to get their boosters shots - why not extend this to the under 50s - and promote the value of other mitigation measures.”