Omicron, which experts say is the most contagious variant of the coronavirus to date, is spreading rapidly all over the world. However, because patients show mild symptoms, Covid-19 disease caused by the virus can often be confused with the flu or cold.
Although those with the Omicron variant mostly survive the disease more easily than other variants, the increase in the number increases the pressure on health units. Concern remains, especially for those who are unvaccinated and at high risk.
So how do we know the difference between Covid-19 and other respiratory infections?
Head of the ZOE Covid Research Institute, from the Department of Epidemiology at King’s College London. “We think that Omicron is passed on as we see in vaccinated people who pass the Delta variant with mild symptoms,” Tim Spector told the BBC.
Collecting data on symptoms that thousands of people have logged into the app, the researchers analyze the symptoms of Delta and Omicron variants.
Five common symptoms recorded so far:
- runny nose
- Fatigue (mild or severe)
- Throat ache
These mild symptoms were mostly identified with data from people who were vaccinated or otherwise immunized.
It is too early to tell how Omicron will affect the unvaccinated or those with low immunity.
prof. Spector says it’s hard for people who’ve had the Omicron with symptoms very similar to the common cold to recognize if they have Covid-19.
This indicates that in places like London, where Omicron has spread rapidly, people with colds are actually more likely to be Covid-19 positive.
If you think you are showing signs of coronavirus, even if you have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, the most important thing to do is to get tested as soon as possible.
Recent Covid-19 variants showed signs of fever, cough, loss of smell and taste.
However, Prof. Spector notes that the last people who had the infection did not have these “classic” symptoms.
What symptoms are worrying?
In England, the National Health Service (NHS) recommends looking out for the following symptoms:
- Sudden persistent cough
- High fever
- Loss of smell and taste
Is fever a sure sign of coronavirus?
A high fever symptom with a body temperature above 37.8 C. Fever occurs when the body is fighting any infection, including Covid-19.
It is very important to use a body thermometer. However, if you do not have this thermometer at home, you can tell if you have a fever by looking at whether you feel warmth in your chest or back.
A cold usually does not cause a fever. Therefore, if you have a fever, it is recommended to get tested.
If you have a cough
If you have a cold or flu, you will likely cough.
Influenza, on the other hand, usually comes on suddenly and causes symptoms such as muscle pain, chills, headache, fatigue, runny throat and nose, and cough.
The common cold has much milder symptoms. Cough, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing are seen. Chills, fever, muscle and headache are uncommon symptoms.
In patients with coronavirus, the cough can be frequent and last longer than an hour, and three or more coughing attacks can be experienced in a day.
If you have new and ongoing cough symptoms, it is recommended that you get tested.
What should we do if there is a loss of smell and taste?
These are the main Covid-19 symptoms. If you have loss of smell and taste, you should get tested immediately.
You can only have the flu, but it is useful to be sure to prevent the spread of the virus and reduce the risk.
Is sneezing a symptom of coronavirus?
If you don’t also have symptoms such as fever, cough, loss of taste and smell, sneezing is not a classic Covid-19 symptom.
Since sneezing will spread the infection, it is necessary to use tissue and wash hands afterwards.
What does runny and stuffy nose mean?
This is not one of the main symptoms of coronavirus. However, some Covid-19 patients may experience nasal congestion and discharge.
The US health guide lists diarrhea, as well as a runny nose and congestion, among the symptoms of coronavirus.
Looking at the data from South Africa, it seems that digestive issues may also be a sign of Omicron.
However, Prof. Tim Spector states that Omicron causes similar symptoms as other variants, as well as more respiratory infections.
Does Omicron still make you feel so sick?
Preliminary studies on the Omicron show that this variant is lighter than its predecessors.
This can be explained by vaccinations and natural immunity, as well as being a mutation of the main virus.
Yet its very rapid spread poses problems, especially for high-risk patients.
While some people with coronavirus may show various symptoms, others may have the disease asymptomatically.
Symptoms usually appear up to two weeks after exposure to the coronavirus, but usually begin to appear on the fifth day.
Shortness of breath can be a sign of a more serious infection.