People in Manchester say they’ve been taken aback by a winter lurgy that has left them feeling worse than when they had COVID.

Residents say they’ve tested for the virus after experiencing COVID-like symptoms, but the majority of tests have come back negative.

Some have reported being “bed-bound” for a fortnight due to symptoms such as a cough, fever, and feeling achy and lethargic.

In response to a post on our Manchester Family Facebook page, we were inundated with responses from people, many of whom had “been bad for weeks.”

“That was me last week,” Bernadette Upton said. “I had a terrible headache, coughed, lost my taste and smell, and kept getting negative results.”

“Absolutely horrible; I was in bed for almost a week with it; it knocked me right off my feet, but I’m still not 100 percent,” Sally Fisher said.

While some say it sounds like a typical winter cold or flu, those who have been sick say it has been much worse.

“I had it for 3 1/2 weeks, and it was worse than when I had COVID last Christmas,” Clur Rosbottom said.

Keeley Sutton added: “It’s now the second week for me, and it’s turned into a chest infection.” Antibiotics have been prescribed, as has an inhaler. “I wasn’t as bad with Covid.”

Colds, flu, and respiratory illnesses are common during the winter months, but health officials say it’s critical to monitor your symptoms to determine whether you have a more serious illness that requires antibiotic treatment.

Dr. Helen Wall, a GP in Bolton, believes the increase in illnesses is due to a combination of factors.

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“I think it’s the triple whammy of people’s immune systems being flexed due to the return to social mixing after restrictions, the rise of previously quiet bugs due to the lift in restrictions like flu and the cold weather, and people not being able to afford to stay warm,” she said.

She stated that many people were still wearing masks last December due to Omicron and that mass events have only recently resumed, which will have an impact.

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