Omicron: The 'slightly different' symptom being overlooked – 'makes no sense at all'


The Omicron variant is surging across the UK, with a further 122,186 new cases of COVID-19 recorded on Friday. The highly transmissible variant is generating crucial insights as it sweeps through the population. Much of this data is being uploaded to the ZOE Symptom Tracker App, which provides real-time updates on the variant from millions of users.

“Fever was slightly less and cough was about the same,” the ZOE lead scientist noted.

According to Prof Spector, “it makes no sense at all” why the Government guidelines have not been updated to reflect this evolving picture.

Waiting for the “traditional” symptoms to surface before getting tested is therefore ill-advised because cases of Omicron will be missed, he warned.

In fact, as the ZOE professor pointed out, there are 20 possible symptoms of COVID-19.

Many months ago, the ZOE Covid Study helped to identify over 20, mostly mild, cold-like symptoms.

How worried should we be?

The Omicron variant’s increased transmissibility means the NHS could still come under extreme pressure despite the ongoing vaccination effort.

However, initial data is encouraging.

People catching Omicron are 50 percent to 70 percent less likely to need hospital care compared with previous variants, the UK Health Security Agency’s early findings suggest.

The study also shows the jab’s ability to stop people catching Omicron starts to wane 10 weeks after a booster dose.

Protection against severe disease is likely to hold up for much longer, the findings suggest.

The report is consistent with findings from South Africa, Denmark, England and Scotland.

The latest analysis is based on all cases of Omicron and Delta in the UK since the beginning of November, including 132 people admitted to hospital with the variant.


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