Coronavirus: 5 symptoms of COVID's Omicron variant you must NOT MISS – Times of India

December 13, 2021

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The most dangerous aspect of a viral infection is its severity. While a virus may be highly transmissible, its virulence is what defines the mortality rate among people.

When it comes to COVID-19, the Delta variant has wreaked havoc in and around the world. Not only is it extremely infectious, but it also triggers mild to moderate to severe symptoms ranging from high fever, persistent cough to breathlessness, chest pain and low blood oxygen levels.

Now, with the emergence of COVID’s Omicron variant, some changes in the level of severity, transmissibility and its symptoms have been noted by experts.

Read also: Coronavirus: Will COVID-19 third wave hit India soon? Mathematical model foretells

Given that the new strain has over 30 mutations in the spike protein, which is unlike any other previous strain, experts believe it can escape vaccine immunity, which is why it’s spreading like wildfire.

However, up until now, the cases around the world have been ‘mild’. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the newest variant of the SARS-CoV-2 may easily infect those who have either caught the virus earlier or been fully vaccinated. However, the global health agency also states that the disease will be milder as compared to the Delta variant.

Initially, when the Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa, Dr Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson of the South African Medical Association, who also happens to be the first person to have discovered the Omicron variant, said that the disease was mild and people who were infected did not report any severe symptoms – – no cases of hospitalization or low oxygen levels.

Since then, doctors and scientists have listed down certain symptoms and signs associated with the new variant.

Read also: Coronavirus: With new emerging variants, will COVID-19 booster shots become a regular affair?

Similar to earlier variants, COVID’s Omicron may lead to fatigue or extreme exhaustion. A person may feel overtired, experience low energy and may have a strong desire to rest, which can disrupt everyday activities. However, it is important to note that fatigue may arise out of other reasons and health problems too. Make sure to get yourself tested to confirm your condition.
As per the South African doctor, Angelique Coetzee, individuals infected with the Omicron complained of “scratchy” throat rather than sore throat, which is unusual. While the two may be similar to an extent, the former may correlate more with irritation of the throat while the latter is more painful.
In another update by South Africa’s Department of Health, general practitioner doctor Unben Pillay listed down the symptoms patients were experiencing.

He suggests that night sweats could be telling symptoms of the new Omicron variant that may arise at night. Night sweats occur when you sweat so profusely that your clothes and bedding become wet even if you’re laying down in a cool area.

This, according to the doctor, could be accompanied by other symptoms including “lots of body pain.”
Apart from that the doctor suggested that dry cough may also surface in people suffering with Omicron. It was one of the most common symptoms in previous strains as well. Dry cough is when you force out a hacking sound to clear any irritation in the throat of airways.
Evidence suggests that the new Omicron variant only triggers mild symptoms.

As opposed to symptoms from the previous variants, the Omicron variant is believed to show no signs of loss of smell and/or taste and there have been no cases of a stuffy, clogged nose, and those affected by the new strain have not complained of very high temperature.
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