We’ve been approached about some research that has been carried out by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc about the impact on Covid on the public’s willingness to visit their GP’s. The findings regarding allergies is particularly worrying, and we can only encourage our readers to get medical advice about allergies, because they aren’t a minor health condition – they can be life threatening and always need to be taken seriously.
Why are the UK public avoiding their GP?
Over half of the UK say that Covid-19 has made them more likely to try
and diagnose their own symptoms before consulting a healthcare
professional, a YouGov online study conducted on behalf of Thermo
Fisher Scientific Inc, has found.
The new analysis, based on a survey of more that 2,000 UK adults aged
18+, shows that many are still reluctant to go straight to visit their
GP when symptoms of an illness or health condition appear and will
instead try to manage their condition alone first.
52% say that the pandemic has made them more likely to try and
diagnose their own symptoms if feeling unwell, before consulting a GP.
The survey also showed that since the beginning of the lockdown 39%
are reluctant to visit their GP at this time because they didn’t
want to waste their GP’s time. A quarter of respondents (25%) stated
that they didn’t want to visit their GP because they were worried
about catching Covid-19.
Avoiding the GP surgery has serious implications for many health
conditions including allergy, where the UK has some of the highest
prevalence rates in the world.
Affecting over 20% of the UK population, allergy can prove fatal
without an accurate diagnosis. Despite this, more than a third (37%)
of those surveyed said they considered allergies to be a ‘minor
health condition’. Almost half (47%) incorrectly agreed that allergy
was simply a more severe type of intolerance.
When asked in which ways, out of a list, they would respond if they or
a family member developed symptoms of an allergy or intolerance, 59%
said that they would search online for information and 56% would buy
over the counter medication, such as antihistamines. 26% would consult
a family and/or friend, only 10% would contact a patient charity (e.g.
Asthma UK etc.) and 8% would buy a home testing kit online.
Amena Warner, Head of Clinical Services at Allergy UK, says, “We
need to take allergy seriously and stop treating allergy and allergic
asthma as ‘minor’ health conditions. Attempting to manage these
kinds of conditions alone, without accurate diagnosis, can be
In the 20 years leading up to 2012, there was a 615% increase in the
rate of hospital admissions for anaphylaxis in the UK. Today, a
staggering 44% of British adults suffer from at least one allergy and
the number continues to rise. 
The most accurate way to discover a person’s allergy triggers, and
potentially save lives, is through specific IgE testing*. Accurate
testing is available through GP surgeries, yet almost two thirds (63%)
stated they were not aware that this was the case. 80% of those
surveyed, however, said that Covid-19 had made them aware that testing
in order to track and trace diseases was important.
Warner continues, “Always speak to your doctor first and discuss
options for getting a specific IgE test for what may be triggering
your allergic symptoms and avoid trying to source online or
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO) is the world leader in
serving science, with annual revenue exceeding $25 billion. Our
Mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier,
cleaner and safer. Whether our customers are accelerating life
sciences research, solving complex analytical challenges, improving
patient diagnostics and therapies or increasing productivity in their
laboratories, we are here to support them. Our global team of more
than 75,000 colleagues delivers an unrivaled combination of innovative
technologies, purchasing convenience and pharmaceutical services
through our industry-leading brands, including Thermo Scientific,
Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services
and Patheon. For more information, please visit www.thermofisher.com
Allery UK is the leading UK patient charity dedicated to helping
adults and children with all types of allergy. They work with
government, professional bodies, HCPs and corporates to help improve
the lives of millions of people with allergic disease. To find out
more, please visit https://www.allergyuk.org .
*IgE tests, or immunoglobulin E tests, measure the levels of IgE, a
type of antibody. Antibodies are made by the immune system to protect
the body from bacteria, viruses and allergens. IgE antibodies are
normally found in small amounts in the blood, but higher amounts can
be a sign that the body overreacts to allergens. This can lead to
allergic reaction. IgE testing is the most accurate and conclusive
method to find out if you have an allergy.
Research was conducted amongst a group of 2045 adults (18+)
nationwide. Fieldwork was carried out between the 26th – 29th June.
The survey was carried out online and the figures have been weighted
and are representative of GB adults.
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For further information please contact: Pauline Kent at Satellite PR
[email protected] Telephone: 0207 702 6543 or 07809195871