Experts have warned that there are new symptoms of the Omicron variant people should look out for.
Since the start of the pandemic, a continuous cough, high temperature and a loss of taste or smell were all the key signs as to whether you may have COVID.
While this remains the advice, there are some symptoms of the new Omicron variant which are not covered as part of the “traditional” symptoms.
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A sore throat, runny nose and a headache are all now being reported as the first symptoms Omicron sufferers are feeling, as WalesOnline reports.
Professor Tim Spector, the scientist behind symptom tracker app Zoe, described the symptoms of Omicron as being more similar to that of a common cold.
He warned that those with cold-like symptoms should still take a COVID test to make sure.
“For most people, an omicron positive case will feel much more like the common cold, starting with a sore throat, runny nose, and a headache,” Tim Spector, a professor of epidemiology at King’s College London and the lead scientist for the symptom study, told the BBC this week. ”We need to change public messaging urgently to save lives.”
Another common symptom revealed by Zoe is congestion, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms of Omicron have been described as “extremely mild”, by South African doctor Dr Angelique Coetzee, who first raised the alarm on the new variant.
But Dr Coetzee has also warned that certain symptoms like headaches and sore muscles may be felt more intensely, particularly by those who are unvaccinated. Those who have had two doses of the COVID vaccine may present with less severe symptoms.
According to health science company Zoe, the first symptoms which can appear as quickly as 48 hours after you’ve been infected with Omicron include runny nose, dry/scratchy throat, headache, fatigue and sneezing.
Speaking as the variant runs rampant across Ireland as well as Kent, Dr Tony Holohan said: “We know that this variant is more transmissible than even the highly transmissible Delta variant.
As such, please do not socialise or meet indoors with people from other households.
“Avoid crowded places including retail environments. Choose to shop online where possible, queue outside and leave any retail environment that does not feel safe and that is not adhering to the public health guidance – implementing social distancing measures and queuing system, limiting numbers instore and staff wearing masks correctly (covering nose, mouth and chin).
“If you are yet to receive a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine, then you should take every measure you can to protect yourself until you are eligible to receive it. This includes avoiding risky environments and keeping your contacts as low as possible. All of the available evidence indicates that a booster vaccine will offer good protection against infection with the Omicron variant.”
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