A blocked nose, sore throat and sneezing are common symptoms of colds and flu. File picture: Joseph Mucira/Pixabay
A blocked nose, sore throat and sneezing are common symptoms of colds and flu. File picture: Joseph Mucira/Pixabay

Blocked nose and sore throat? You should assume you have Covid-19, says Western Cape Dept of Health

By Lou-Anne Daniels Time of article published Jul 3, 2021

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Cape Town - If you have a sore throat, headache, runny nose or any flu-like symptoms it’s best to assume that you have Covid-19 and to self-isolate the Western Cape Department of Health says.

The department says the symptoms for the Delta variant of the virus, which is driving the current spike in infections across South Africa, are identical to those of the common cold or flu.

“If you have flu-like symptoms whether Covid or not the responsible thing to do is to isolate,” Mark van der Heever, the deputy director for communication in the department told IOL on Saturday.

Van der Heever confirmed that there are “several variants” of the virus present in the in the province.

While more work was needed to understand why, the Delta variant’s symptoms appear to be milder than other variants and people could think that they had just contracted an ordinary cold, Professor Mary-Ann Davies, director of the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research, said at the Western Cape’s weekly digicon on Thursday.

Van der Heever reiterated that the department was not testing people under 50 for Covid-19 in a bid to prevent laboratories being overrun.

“Testing is to ensure we detect confirmed cases in the most vulnerable and to act quickly. If (we are) testing everyone we will end up with backlogs and not get to protect those vulnerable groups,” he said.

* Visit IOL’s coronavirus page for the all latest local and international news on the pandemic.

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