Thousands of people across the UK are coming down with the “worst cold ever” as the country reopens from coronavirus lockdowns.
Brits have been warned to be alert for the signs that the super cold has developed into deadly pneumonia.
There had been an uptick in calls to GPs and the National Health Service’s 111 hotline about autumn colds and flu.
The calls mainly related to difficulty breathing, particularly in patients aged 15 to 44.
Experts have said it’s likely due to weakened immune systems after nearly two years of lockdowns and social distancing.
“It could well be that now common colds are resurging, because of the decline in social distancing and mask wearing, that they are bouncing back and the respiratory tract has not had enough recent experience of respiratory infections to be able to mount that strong first line defence,” Professor Peter Openshaw from Imperial College London said.