Half of Omicron sufferers struck by ‘surprising symptoms’, expert warns
HALF of the UK’s Omicron patients have been struck with “surprising” symptoms, experts have warned.
Many of those who have tested positive for the variant are not reporting the classic Covid symptoms.
Instead they are suffering with more cold-like responses, which many might mistake for a simple winter bug.
The ZOE Covid Symptoms Study App has been tracking cases and symptoms in the UK since the early days of the pandemic.
The experts there have become pretty good at noting changes in signs of new variants.
Their latest analysis showed only half of the people currently suffering with Covid are experiencing the classic three symptoms listed on the NHS.
These are fever, a cough or loss of smell or taste.
The experts said: “This may come as a surprise to some, as the UK government never updated guidance on Covid symptoms beyond the classic three symptoms.
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“Many months ago, the ZOE Covid Study helped to identify over 20, mostly mild, cold-like symptoms.”
At the minute, the top five symptoms on the app are a runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, sore throats.
Brain fog also popped up as a common symptom on the app from infected Brits.
Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist, said: :“The number of new symptomatic cases has exploded over the last week, making it the biggest jump in cases I’ve seen since we started the ZOE Covid Study.
“Whilst the figures paint a worrying picture, the good news is that our preliminary data, based on around 2,500 probable cases reported on the ZOE app suggests that Omicron is more mild that Delta.
“However, this highly transmissible variant will infect many more people before the year is out.
“To help us slow the spread, my advice continues to be; avoid gathering indoors, and, if you are meeting up with people, check everyone is free of cold symptoms, test yourself just before and get fully vaccinated.
“However, what continues to shock me is the misinformation in their latest stay at home guidance about the symptoms of Covid.
“For most people, an Omicron positive case will feel much more like the common cold, starting with a sore throat, runny nose and a headache.
“You only need to ask a friend who has recently tested positive to find this out.
“We need to change public messaging urgently to save lives as half of people with cold-like symptoms now have Covid.”
A booster shot is the best protection against Omicron, with early data suggesting it pushes efficacy back up to 75 per cent.
Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA Chief Executive said: “Once again, we urge everyone who is able to get a booster jab to come forward and do so. It is the best defence we have against this highly transmissible new variant.”
The Sun is also urging readers to sign up to the Jabs Army campaign to make the rollout as smooth and fast as possible.
The last troublesome variant before Omicron was Delta, with many cases still popping up in the UK.
It was reported by experts that symptoms had become more cold-like with Delta, especially in the vaccinated, with this seeming to continue with Omicron.
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