Doctor says coronavirus ‘will get worse before it gets better’

The not-for-profit initiative, launched by health science company ZOE in March 2020, is the world’s largest ongoing study of Covid-19. Adding to the list of health risks associated with smoking, now it’s officially been linked to more severe coronavirus outcomes.

The 2021 research – published on Wednesday, January 6, in the peer-reviewed journal Thorax – is based on 2.4million participants.

Current smokers were shown to have a “higher symptom burden than non-smokers” once infected by SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes the disease Covid-19.

Smokers were 14 percent more likely to develop the classic triad of symptoms than non-smokers:

  • A persistent cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

In addition, those who smoked were 29 percent more likely to report more than five symptoms associated with Covid-19 than those who don’t smoke.

A whopping 50 percent of smokers were more likely to report more than 10 symptoms of the disease.

“A greater number of symptoms suggested more severe Covid-19,” the research stated.

Those who currently smoke, and tested positive for Covid-19, were “more than twice as likely” as non-smokers to be hospitalised.

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These alarming statistics have led to researchers recommending “a smoking cessation strategy” to be included in the fight against coronavirus.

As puffing away increases the likelihood of symptomatic disease and disease severity, it inevitably puts even more pressure on the struggling NHS.

“Reduction in smoking rates could also reduce the health system burden from other smoking-related conditions that require hospitalisation,” noted the research.

Claire Steves, lead researcher and consultant physician commented on the findings.

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“As rates of COVID-19 continue to rise and the NHS edges towards capacity, it’s important to do all we can to reduce its effects and find ways to reduce hospital admissions,” she said.

“Our analysis shows that smoking increases a person’s likelihood to attend hospitals, so stopping smoking is one of the things we can do to reduce the health consequences of the disease.”

What symptoms are associated with Covid-19?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) listed 13 symptoms associated with Covid-19, these are:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Tiredness
  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • A rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Loss of speech or movement.

“On average. it takes five to six days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show,” said the WHO.

It added: “However, it can take up to 14 days [for the symptoms to appear].”

Most people who become infected by Covid-19 will develop mild to moderate illness that can be managed at home.

However, should anyone suffer from any troublesome symptoms, do call NHS 111.

People who are showing symptoms of Covid-19, or have a positive test result, must self-isolate at home to help curb the spread of the disease.

How long do I self-isolate for?

If you’ve tested positive for Covid-19, the NHS instruct you to self-isolate for 10 days from symptoms started.

If you don’t have any symptoms, but have a positive Covid-19 test, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the day you took the test.

People living with someone who has tested positive for the virus are also instructed to self-isolate for 10 days.

Self-Isolation means you can’t leave your house for any reason, including for exercise.

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