Two key Omicron symptoms to watch out for

Coronavirus symptoms 'overlap' with winter flu says Dr Amir

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Omicron is still causing major issues in the UK, as cases rates remain high staff absences are continuing to soar. Covid-related staff absences could threaten the smooth running of vital services such as health care and schools. If you are infected, it’s essential to self-isolate to stop the spread of this high transmissible variant. Here are two little known symptoms that could mean you have been infected with the Omicron variant.

UK Covid cases are still worryingly high, with 84,429 daily cases reported on January 17.

Although this equates to a 41.7 percent decrease in the past seven days, the number of people dying within 28 days of a positive test has leapt by 38.7 percent in the past seven days, which means Omicron is still a very real threat.

It has never been more important to self isolate if you test positive for the virus, but thousands of Brits may be unaware that they have it.

This is because it’s thought to be milder than other variants and so it causes fewer recognisable symptoms.

The three common symptoms of Covid are well known these are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of taste or smell

Other less common symptoms include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Conjunctivitis (sore, red eyes)

NHS England has said these symptoms are less common and recommends you only need to get tested if you also have at least one of the main symptoms alongside these minor ones.

However, whilst previous strains of the virus were characterised by the three common symptoms listed above, the Omicron variant is thought to present more “cold-like” symptoms, especially for those who have been fully vaccinated.

Although the new Omicron variant is milder than its predecessor and therefore less likely to cause serious illness amongst the fully vaccinated, it is highly transmissible.

Therefore, to stop its spread, it’s essential to know the signs that you may be carrying it.

One expert has said the two key symptoms to watch out for are a runny nose and a headache.

Irene Petersen, a professor of epidemiology and health informatics at University College London, told the Independent: “A runny nose and headache are symptoms of many infections, but may also be the first symptoms – and only symptoms – of Covid.

“Therefore, if you have these symptoms, I’d encourage you to use lateral flow tests for a couple of days.”

But the ZOE Covid Study has revealed there could be as many as 20 common symptoms of Omicron.

The top five most commonly reported symptoms in the study were a runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing and a sore throat.

But others in the top 20 include; shivers, brain fog, feeling dizzy and a hoarse voice.

These findings come after a number of hugely positive studies reveal that Omicron is milder than previous strains of the virus.

The latest report from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has revealed that the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 percent lower than with Delta.

But UKHSA has added that the best form of protection against the virus continues to be the Covid vaccine.

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