Coronavirus: 'Wrong time to lift restrictions' says Greenhalgh
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The strict measures imposed across the globe have significantly altered the course of the pandemic, but it is arguably the vaccine that has had the most weighty effect. Its greatest contribution has been in curbing the risk of severe illness and lowering hospitalisation rates. But while the odds of severe illness are lessened, infection is still possible – even after receiving a full course of mRNA vaccines. In those who contract the Omicron variant of COVID-19, eight symptoms are more likely to appear.
Based on a Norwegian study, published in the journal Eurosurveillance, researchers identified eight symptoms of Omicron experienced in a small sample.
The study was conducted on a group of 117 guests who attended a party in November 2021, where there was a reported outbreak of Omicron.
Of these guests, 111 were interviewed, 66 of whom had a confirmed case of COVID-19, and 15 of whom had a possible case.
Of all the patients interviewed, 89 percent had received a full course of mRNA vaccines, but none had received a booster shot.
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The eight key symptoms identified among participants with a confirmed case of Covid were cough, runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, fever and sneezing.
Researchers noted that cough, runny nose, and fatigue were among the most common symptoms among the fully inoculated.
In research conducted by the Zoe Covid app earlier this year, researchers found no obvious difference in the symptoms profile of Delta and its predecessor Delta.
The analysis identified runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing and sore throat as symptoms of the coronavirus.
Loss of smell and taste, however, was far less frequently reported in patients with a suspected Omicron infection.
An entry on the website reads: “While Omicron may feel more like a cold to many of us, it can still hospitalise and kill people or leave them suffering with long-term symptoms that disrupt their day-to-day lives.
“Also the fact that Omicron is much more infectious than Delta means it can spread quicker.”
The World Health Organisation issued a statement last month confirming that “the Omicron variant of concern, BA.2, is currently the dominant variant circulating globally”.
It said the BA.2 sub-lineage, which is classified as Omicron, should continue to be considered to be considered a variant of concern based on data of transmission, reinfection and diagnostics.
The WHO wrote: “BA.2 differs from BA.1 in its genetic sequence, including some amino acid differences in the spike protein and other proteins.
“Studies have shown that BA.2 has a growth advantage over BA.2.
“Studies are ongoing to understand the reasons for this growth advantage, but initial data suggest that BA.2 appears inherently more transmissible than BA.1 which currently remains the most common sub-lineage reported.
As the BA.2 replaces its predecessor BA.1 as the dominant form of the virus, researchers have confirmed two doses of an mRNA vaccine can significantly reduce the risk of infection and mild illness.
However, according to a study published in medRxiv, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, protection from two mRNA vaccines against BA.1 and BA.2 wanes within two months.
Laith Abu-Raddad, an infection-diseases epidemiologist at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar in Doha, co-author of the study, expressed fears that BA.2 could evade vaccine protection.
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