Omicron Symptoms Are Mild Like A Cold But More Highly Transmissible Says Experts

Omicron Symptoms Are Mild Like A Cold But More Highly Transmissible Says Experts

Professor Tim Spector, the chief scientist on the Zoe Covid Study app, said that there was a possibility that potential omicron cases could be misdiagnosed as minor colds.


Omicron Symptoms Are Mild Like A Cold But More Highly Transmissible Says Experts

Although the symptoms linked with the Covid-19 omicron variant may resemble those associated with a cold, scientists advise that individuals should not overlook the risks posed by the more highly infectious variant.

According to one British researcher, omicron variant infections may be accompanied by symptoms that mimic a common cold.

The Zoe Covid Study, which analyses hundreds of Covid symptoms submitted by the British public to an app, examined symptoms related to Covid cases in London over two consecutive weeks in October and December, that is, prior (as far as we are aware) and after omicron spread in the city.

This preliminary research revealed similarities between the delta and omicron variants, suggesting that the latter has not reverted to the more flu-like symptoms associated with past Covid variants. According to the team, the five major symptoms recorded in the Zoe app over those two distinct weeks were as follows:

  • Nose congestion
  • Headache
  • Fatigue (either mild or severe)
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat

The Zoe analysis was conducted in London given its increasing frequency of omicron than other countries. The omicron variant is already the prevalent variant in London and will eventually account for almost all infections in the capital and the United Kingdom.

Experts believe that this occurrence will likely replicate itself in other countries worldwide. However, cases may be more difficult to detect with the omicron variant.

Professor Tim Spector, the chief scientist on the Zoe Covid Study app, said that there was a possibility that potential omicron cases could be misdiagnosed as minor colds.

As our latest data shows, omicron symptoms are predominantly cold symptoms, runny nose, headache, sore throat and sneezing, so people should stay at home as it might well be Covid,” Spector said.

Hopefully people now recognise the cold-like symptoms which appear to be the predominant feature of omicron,” he added.

Spector, like other British researchers on Covid, stated that omicron seems to be on the track to become the dominant variant in the United Kingdom by Christmas, with many now doubting if the UK would enter a lockdown in the new year.

In the New Year cases could hit a peak higher than anything we’ve ever seen before,” Spector said, although he hoped for a reversal of the spike in cases in London, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and prominent health experts advise individuals to limit their social interactions, work remotely, and wear face masks.

Source - Evening Standard

What We Now Know About Omicron

It would be a grievous mistake to overlook the omicron variant’s dangers, despite some indications suggesting it produces milder symptoms more similar to a cold than the flu.

According to experts, omicron is significantly more transmissible than the delta variant and will soon become the prevalent variant globally. Omicron’s rapid climb to prominence is surprising in light of the fact that the World Health Organisation recognised it as a “variant of concern" on Nov. 26, two days following South Africa report of detecting it.

Earlier, small studies indicated that while it was more virulent than the delta variant, it may result in less severe infections. However, this remains to be seen on a larger, real-world scale, with an infected person’s age (younger people tend to experience milder Covid infections), general health, and vaccination status (including when they were fully vaccinated, as immunity starts to wane after six months) all influencing how an illness is experienced.

The South African doctor who detected the variant among her patients said that the first symptoms she saw in her clinic were “extremely mild," however this was based on observation of a small number of individuals.

Vaccine manufacturers have said that although the variant reduces the efficiency of a complete course of Covid vaccination, a booster dose helps restore a significant portion of the vaccine’s protection against serious illness, hospitalisation, and death.

Increased Hospitalisation

Experts warn that an increase in hospitalisation is now expected due to omicron’s greater transmissibility.

South Africa has seen an upsurge in hospitalisations (although the majority of admittance have been to unvaccinated individuals), and the United Kingdom has seen an increase as well, with Johnson noting on Wednesday that the country was already experiencing “the inevitable increase in hospitalisations, up 10% nationally week on week and nearly a third in London.

To date, approximately over 10,000 cases of omicron have been reported in the United Kingdom, with figures doubling every two days or less, and experts predict that this is a vast understatement of the total number of omicron infections.

The first two confirmed cases of the variant in the United Kingdom were revealed on Nov. 27, and both involved traveling to South Africa. Cases of community transmission were confirmed shortly after, indicating that the variant was likely circulating earlier.

Omicron is making its presence known in the United Kingdom, where a rise of Covid cases has prompted the government to rush to provide booster doses. The United Kingdom recorded its greatest number of Covid cases on Wednesday, with 78,610 new infections.

Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, urged “serious caution" on Wednesday about hospitalisation data, notably in South Africa, that showed omicron may produce a milder condition. There, he said, the population’s immune levels were different as a result of a recent wave of delta infection.

He added that further data on hospitalisation, severe disease, and mortality were required, but that “all the things that we do know [about omicron] are bad.

Dr. David Nabarro, the World Health Organisation’s special envoy on Covid-19, reportedly told Sky News on Wednesday that the United Kingdom was facing a “very serious situation indeed” in the U.K.

The rise that you’re seeing in the U.K. today is just the beginning of an extraordinary acceleration,” he said.

There are two epidemics going on; delta and omicron. And it is an emergency situation for the British health service. It will get extremely serious within the next two weeks, perhaps quicker.

Nabarro added the spread of the omicron variant was “serious in the U.K., it’s serious in Europe, and it’s serious for the world.

We’re concerned that people are dismissing omicron as mild,” he said. “Even if omicron does cause less severe disease the sheer number of cases will once again overwhelm health systems.

Source – CNBC

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