Considering Omicron moves differently from the other COVID variants; one of the worrying factors is that the patients infected with it are showing varied symptoms which are distinct from each other.
Though many patients are complaining of mild cold-like symptoms, several others are experiencing more severe signs.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), and studies conducted by other organisations explain symptoms and the reasons behind them.
What are the different Omicron symptoms?
WHO’s top infectious disease expert Dr Maria Van Kerkhove has said; that people who are infected with Omicron can have a range of symptoms.
They can also have no symptoms at all, and be completely asymptomatic. Some even can develop severe diseases and people are also dying from Omicron.
“On average, we know that there is lesser risk of needing hospitalisation if you are infected with Omicron compared to Delta, but that does not mean that it is a mild disease,” he added during a Live Q&A session on COVID-19 and Omicron sub-variant BA.2 with Dr Abdi Mahamud on 8 February 2022.
During another discussion on the effects of Omicron and why it should not be taken lightly; Dr Maria Van Kerkhove said the more concerning thing with the Omicron-led wave has been that deaths are increasing for 5th week in a row. “Half a people, that we know of, have died (due to Covid;” he said, adding that deaths must be more than that cause the global health bodies don’t have adequate reporting systems around the world.
Most reported symptoms: Most Omicron patients are reporting cold-like symptoms such as a sore throat, severe body pain, fatigue, severe headache; a study by UK-based tracker Zoe COVID app.
The ZOE COVID Study app is a not-for-profit initiative that was launched at the end of March 2020 to support vital COVID-19 research. The app was launched by health science company ZOE with scientific analysis provided by King’s College London.
“It’s not necessarily true to say the symptoms caused by Omicron are more mild than with previous variants. The majority of the UK population is now double or triple vaccinated; as are most of the contributors to the ZOE app; which has a strongly protective effect against severe illness and hospitalisation,” said the company.
New symptoms reported in Omicron patients: Many people are also complaining of gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhoea, skipped meals and abdominal pain.
Most unusual trait of Omicron: Strangely, there are fewer cases where the infected individuals are suffering from three classic symptoms of COVID – cough, fever and loss of smell.
Experts say, due to these wide ranges of symptoms, it has become more difficult to diagnose the disease.
Why people are reporting different kinds of symptoms?
It’s not necessarily true to say the symptoms caused by Omicron are milder than with previous variants; the Zoe study showed. But the symptoms vary from person to person, depending on their vaccination status, immunity and a few other things.
What WHO said:
The WHO official also confirmed, there is a very significant difference in individuals who are vaccinated with one dose; two doses and some people have had three doses.
“There is a significant reduction of hospitalisations and deaths among those who are vaccinated.”
“This is from Omicron, from other Variants of Concern, and I think that’s one of the biggest factors that is really; really critical that people hear out there;” Van Kerkhove said adding, so when it’s your turn get vaccinated and boosted.