The latest Covid hotspots as new variants circulate – check cases in your area

Dr Nighat discusses symptoms of new Covid strain

Over the past few months, the UK has seen a rise in Covid cases, with experts attributing the rise to a new variant, Pirola.

The variant, a descent from the Omicron variant, which was dominant in 2022, was first detected in Denmark in July this year.

Since then, more variants have emerged. The HV.1 strain, another sub-variants of Omicron, has become the dominant strain in the US.

The JN.1 strain, a descendant of Pirola, has been found in the UK, and is believed to be much more immune evasive than previous variants.

But looking at the latest Covid data, the number of confirmed Covid cases has gone down.

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Between November 3 and 9, 4,549 people had a confirmed positive Covid test result. This shows a decrease of 25.3 percent compared to the previous seven days.

The decrease in case numbers could be due to the number of people who have now received a Covid booster vaccine – 3,854,910 by the end of November 15.

The latest data has also revealed the current Covid hotspots in England and Wales.

Taking the top spot is Birmingham, with 63 new cases during the time period analysed.

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In second place is County Durham (50 new cases), in third place is Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (50 new cases), in fourth place is Sheffield (47 new cases) and in fifth place is Leeds (with 45 new cases). Use our interactive map to see how many cases are in your area.

So will we see cases rise again this winter? Dr Alexis Missick, a GP who works with UK Meds, said in winter, cases of cold, flu and Covid all tend to rise as we spend more time inside.

She continued: “Christmas and New Years often means more social events, this means that Covid may be more likely to spread, which could cause a rise in cases.”

The most predominant Covid symptoms right now, according to Dr Missick, are:

  • A dry, persistent cough
  • A fever
  • Shortness of breath

She added nasal congestion, fever, fatigue and a runny nose are also key symptoms.

If you show signs of Covid and are concerned you may be suffering with the virus, it’s important you do a lateral flow test to confirm it’s what you have, advised Dr Missick.

She added: “If you do a lateral flow test that is positive you should report this to the NHS, so that they can contact you about appropriate treatment. You should then choose whether to isolate or not.

“If your symptoms are bad, contact your doctor immediately. People that have received their vaccines may experience less severe symptoms.”

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