Doctor says 'drastic measures' are needed to stop Omicron spread
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Over 70 percent of Britons have now received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine but many more need to roll up their sleeves. The message from public health experts could not be clearer: to stop the NHS from becoming overwhelmed in the coming weeks, all eligible Britons must complete the primary series (two doses) followed by a booster shot. Evidence shows Omicron avoids some of the antibody attention induced by two shots of a Covid vaccine.
An initial report conducted by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighted the Omicron symptoms to expect after two doses of a vaccine.
It is based on 43 cases of the Omicron variant detected in the US.
Among these cases of COVID-19 attributed to the Omicron variant, 34 (79 percent) occurred in persons who completed the primary series of an FDA-authorised or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
“The most commonly reported symptoms were cough, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose,” noted the CDC.
The findings echo insights from other health experts.
Christina Marriott, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said: “Growing evidence shows that people who’ve received two doses of the vaccine typically present with less severe symptoms, such as headache, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, and loss of smell.
“It’s important for people who’ve been fully vaccinated to stay vigilant for cold-like symptoms and get tested if they’re living or working around people who are at greater risk from the disease.”
The symptom profile generally resembles cold-like symptoms, Professor Tim Spector, from Britain’s ZOE Covid app has noted.
He said that data from the ZOE study app suggests that about half of all cases of Delta are being “missed” because they are not presenting with “classic” Covid symptoms of fever, new and persistent cough and a loss or change of smell or taste.
“Omicron is probably more, much more similar to the mild variants we’re seeing in people who have been vaccinated with Delta than anything else,” Prof Spector said.
“And so it is going to be producing cold-like symptoms that people won’t recognise as Covid if they just believe the official government advice.”
His insights are are based on an initial analysis of ZOE symptom data from positive cases in London.
The ZOE Covid study has been mapping the movements of the virus via reports from millions of users in its app.
The initial analysis found no clear differences in the early symptoms (three days after test) between Delta and Omicron.
The top five symptoms reported in the ZOE app were:
- Runny nose
- Fatigue (either mild or severe)
- Sore throat.
Prof Spector said: “Omicron is set to be the dominant strain in the UK by Christmas, and in the New Year cases could hit a peak higher than anything we’ve ever seen before. In London cases have been rising rapidly, but this will likely slow down soon, as people change their behaviour, such as wearing face masks again, cancelling parties and working from home more.”
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