People are complaining about a common cold virus at the moment which is so bad, some have mistaken it for COVID-19.
Those suffering with it have done repeated COVID-19 tests and results have been showing up negative, meaning it's likely just a common cold.
Experts are dubbing it a 'super cold' as many of those suffering with it are reporting flu-like symptoms.
Over on Twitter, the 'worst cold ever' is trending.
Anyone else absolutely floored by like the worst cold ever? Covid symptoms but you're not positive. Just feeling utterly rancid. It's been almost a week and I just... pic.twitter.com/hnsU2sQKDr
- Claire Warren (@novelideasblog) September 24, 2021
Got my first cold since about January 2020 and I can confirm it's one of the worst colds I've had - 'freshers' flu' on steroids
- Dan Pheby (@DanPheby) September 21, 2021
All defences down. I have the worst cold / flu ever. Did two lat flow tests both came back negative. Absolutely no energy, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat. This SUCKS pic.twitter.com/SSyJYgxZbA
- Rosanna (@rosanna_newey) September 30, 2021
Either this is the worst cold I've ever had or I've completely forgotten what it's like to have a cold :sleepy:
- Emma Adams (@Emma_Rose_94) September 23, 2021
We should point out that if you have got COVID-19 symptoms, don't just assume it's this cold. It's always better to do a test and make sure - as this guy discovered it was in fact COVID-19.
I had the worst cold ever last week.
Right up to the point a PCR test revealed it wasn't actually a cold https://t.co/2TRlICTTKW
- Jim (@Barcajim3) September 23, 2021
The theory is that because we've all been in lockdown and staying away from others, we've not been exposed to other common viruses which can easily be picked up in schools and workplaces and just by being out in public.
As a result, our immune systems have gotten out of the habit of fighting them off and so a common cold virus is hitting people so much worse than it usually would.
Dr Eleanor Gaunt, a research fellow at the Roslin Institute at Edinburgh University, told iPaper:
"Every year, a subset of the population is exposed to a range of respiratory viruses. We build up a base of immunity because with repeated exposure to these viruses, our immune systems learn to recognise them.
"However, over the past year, we have not experienced our usual set of exposures to respiratory viruses, and therefore we've missed out on our annual immunity 'top-ups'. Our lack of immunity could mean that more people will become infected and we may see an increase in numbers requiring hospitalisation."
Dr Paul Skolnik, an immunovirologist and chair of internal medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, told the New York Times: "Frequent exposure to various pathogens primes or jazzes up the immune system to be ready to respond to that pathogen.
"If you've not had those exposures, your immune system may be a little slower to respond or doesn't respond as fully, leading to greater susceptibility to some respiratory infections and sometimes longer or more protracted symptoms."
So there you have it. Our immune systems are all weak from months of social distancing and as a result, they're not as prepared for cold and flu season as they usually would be.
Remember - if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should get a test even if you think you've got the worst cold ever.
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