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The winter lurgy sweeping the nation that ‘feels like Covid but isn’t’

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As Christmas fast approaches, people have reported being struck down with a winter lurgy that ‘feels like’ Covid. In fact, many of those struck down by the bug say it’s actually worse than when they had the coronavirus.

Symptoms for many have included a cough, aching, a sore throat and a headache.

The NHS is under huge pressure this winter, with Betsi Cadwaladr UHB declaring a ‘critical incident’ and cancelling all but the most urgent procedures, WalesOnline reports. 

For some people struggling with this mystery winter lurgy, though, the symptoms have been tough to deal with. WalesOnline reader Michelle said: “It’s definitely worse than when I had Covid. This has absolutely floored me. Started with a cough and every bone in my body aching, sore gums, sore throat and the most disgusting taste at the back of my throat.” 

Chelsey said it felt like she had been “hit by a bus,” after catching the flu and a chest infection. She added: “On loads of medication, still don’t feel right! Can’t imagine how kids feel getting it! Wiped me out.” 

Barbara described her symptoms but said she’d managed them with a few home remedies. She said: “I woke up Saturday with awful headache, sore throat and swollen glands. Covid test negative then and today thank goodness. Enjoyed the hot toddies – Lemsip + fresh lemon juice + honey + a Berocca tablet + dash of concentrated ginger squash + a large dash whiskey. Feeling good today though still bit of a heavy head. Keep well everyone x.”

But Heather said it was “just a virus,” that came around every Christmas, and Jeannine pointed out that people thought the lurgy felt like Covid because “Covid feels like the winter lurgy, not the other way around,” adding “they’re all rotten to have.”

Melody added that she knew people who went on to catch something more serious: “Been so rough for about a fortnight as well as husband and son. All been off sick. Heard of so many with this and several people I know have developed pneumonia. Get well soon everyone.”

And Victoria described some awful symptoms: “I’m on day 10 of the chestiness, but Saturday it got worse and I’ve been in bed ever since. Fever, chills, headache, dizziness (feel like head’s falling off) and the cough is wracking and whole body aching. Saturday is when I knew I had flu.”

What to do if you get symptoms but test negative for Covid

Dr Rob Barnett, a GP, has advised people on what to do if they start to feel ill. He said: “We always see an increase in colds and other winter illnesses at this time of year, but for most people, symptoms will get better without treatment, or with medicines readily available from local pharmacies, and they don’t need to see a GP.

“If you need advice on how to manage your symptoms at home, speak to your local community pharmacist. If your symptoms worsen and you don’t know what to do, call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk – they can direct you to the right care, and book you an appointment with a healthcare professional if needed.”

Although many people are reporting that they’re feeling ill but testing negative for Covid, Dr Barnett reminded people: “It’s also important to be up-to-date with your covid vaccinations, and if you’re eligible for the autumn booster and flu vaccines, book these as soon as possible to help you stay well this winter.”

WalesOnline reader Donna said it felt similar to having Covid. “I’ve had it for just over a week,” she said, “[I’ve] spent 3 days on the sofa, totally wiped out. It’s very much like Covid, I’ve had it five times lol but all my tests have been negative.”

Several people are hoping they’ll start to feel better by Christmas. Emma is one of them – she said: “Three out of four of us in our house have got it. Ribs hurt from constant coughing, eyes hurt, headache and fever. Haven’t felt this rough for years, hope it’s gone for Xmas.”

And Sam added that it was actually worse than Covid, saying: “Worse than Covid what me and the family have had this last week, just managed to get out of bed after nearly three days, lucky we all didn’t get it at the same time.”

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