Sci Rep

. 2023 Aug 2;13(1):12511.
doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-38869-1. Symptom profiles of community cases infected by influenza, RSV, rhinovirus, seasonal coronavirus, and SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern

Cyril Geismar 1 2 , Vincent Nguyen 3 , Ellen Fragaszy 4 5 , Madhumita Shrotri 3 , Annalan M D Navaratnam 3 , Sarah Beale 3 4 , Thomas E Byrne 3 , Wing Lam Erica Fong 3 , Alexei Yavlinsky 3 , Jana Kovar 4 , Susan Hoskins 3 , Isobel Braithwaite 3 , Robert W Aldridge 3 , Andrew C Hayward 4

AffiliationsFree PMC article Abstract

Respiratory viruses that were suppressed through previous lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic have recently started to co-circulate with SARS-CoV-2. Understanding the clinical characteristics and symptomatology of different respiratory viral infections can help address the challenges related to the identification of cases and the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 variants' evolutionary patterns. Flu Watch (2006-2011) and Virus Watch (2020-2022) are household community cohort studies monitoring the epidemiology of influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, seasonal coronavirus, and SARS-CoV-2, in England and Wales. This study describes and compares the proportion of symptoms reported during illnesses infected by common respiratory viruses. The SARS-CoV-2 symptom profile increasingly resembles that of other respiratory viruses as new strains emerge. Increased cough, sore throat, runny nose, and sneezing are associated with the emergence of the Omicron strains. As SARS-CoV-2 becomes endemic, monitoring the evolution of its symptomatology associated with new variants will be critical for clinical surveillance.