Survey of Brits reveals more than half have tried to diagnose their own symptoms rather than visit their GP, due to Covid-19

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9th September 2020 17:02 - Health

Survey of Brits reveals more than half have tried to diagnose own symptoms rather than visit their GP due to Covid-19: A survey of people living in the UK has found that fears around GP surgeries due to the coronavirus pandemic are causing more than half those polled to try and diagnose their own symptoms instead. 

The survey of 2,000 UK adults by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc found that 52% of respondents have attempted to diagnose their own symptoms when they've felt unwell or needed advice from a medical professional. It also found that almost four-fifths (39%) have avoided visiting their doctor during the pandemic, so as not to 'waste their GP's time'. Another reason given for not visiting their GP because they were concerned about contracting Covid-19. 

The survey also asked respondents about allergies and how they could help a family member or friend who was developing symptoms. The research found that almost six in 10 (59%) would use the internet to search for information around allergy symptoms, while 56% said they would head to the pharmacist to buy over the counter medication such as antihistamines. Around a  quarter (26%) said they would consult a family member or a friend to help with the situation, while 10% said they would contact a patient charity, and 8% buy an online testing kit. 

Supporting research for the study highlights that the UK has some of the highest prevalence of allergic conditions in the world, with more than  20% of the UK's population suffering from one or more allergic conditions. It also revealed that the 20 years to 2012 saw a 615% rise in the rate of hospital admissions for anaphylaxis in the UK. 

While the most effective way to find out more about a suspected allergy is through IgE testing, (according to the research authors), almost two-thirds (63%) of the respondents polled said they were unaware that they could be tested at their GP surgery. 

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