Sadiq Khan warns 'things only going to get worse' with Omicron
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Since its arrival in the UK on November 27, Omicron has swept the nation pushing coronavirus cases above 100,00. As more cases emerge, scientists have been able to detect some of the more common symptoms of the variant.
Unlike other forms of COVID-19, Omicron has some unique symptoms that might not be typical of standard coronavirus signs.
According to the NHS, the symptoms of coronavirus generally include “a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.”
However, people who have contracted Omicron have also noted several other symptoms which aren’t usually associated with coronavirus.
Among these are nausea and a loss of appetite.
Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, explained these are common symptoms in those who tend to be double jabbed or even boosted.
He said: “Quite a few of them had nausea, slight temperature, sore throats and headaches.”
In some cases, vomiting has also been reported as a symptom among those with the variant.
The four most common symptoms of the omicron variant are cough, fatigue, congestion and runny nose, according to a CDC analysis of the first 43 cases investigated in the US.
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How can I tell if I have Omicron?
The only way to know what variant you have for sure is by having a PCR test.
According to Parliament.uk: “Most PCR tests target several parts of the viral genome; one target is the S-gene (that encodes the spike protein).
“As Omicron has a mutation here, that means that this part of the PCR test will fail. This is called S-gene drop-out or target failure.
“While not 100 percent accurate, it can be used as a proxy method for tracking the variant, especially if other dominant circulating variants are S-gene positive, as the Delta variant is.
“Other parts of the Omicron genome will be detected by PCR tests, so labs can still identify positive cases.”
Is Omicron “milder” than other forms of COVID-19?
Two preliminary studies published on Wednesday found that Omicron appears to be “milder” than the Delta variant wave.
People infected are between 40 and 70 percent less likely to be admitted to hospitals.
Research from an Imperial College London study and Scottish paper Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of Covid-19, states that people with Omicron are 15 to 20 percent less likely to need hospital treatment.
They are 40 to 45 percent less likely to require an overnight stay in hospital.
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However, scientists have warned that the variant is spreading at an “alarming rate”.
Professor Mark Woolhouse, a co-author of a Scottish paper on the severity of Omicron, told the Independent: “An individual infection could be relatively mild for the vast majority of people, but the potential for all these infections to come at once and put serious strain on the NHS remains.”
Some of the main symptoms of Omicron include:
- A sore or dry throat
- A runny nose or sneezing
- A headache
- Fatigue ranging from mild to severe
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