According to public statements made by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials, the recently discovered Omicron variant is fueling a new surge of COVID-19 cases across the country.
Healthcare providers in more than 19 American states (and 50 countries in total) are currently reporting official infections traced back to this new version of the novel coronavirus.
And scientists still have a lot to learn about Omicron because it hasn’t even been a month since WHO officers deemed the mutation a worry.
Early studies, however, suggest that Omicron variant infections may differ differently from cases resulting from the spread of Delta and other previous variants that were a concern in 2021.
According to Gwen Murphy, M.D., Ph.D., an epidemiology expert and director at testing business Let’sGetChecked,
the genetic makeup of Omicron is radically different from other COVID-19 strains that researchers have examined.
The majority of patients impacted by Omicron infections did not require ventilators or emergency oxygen to breathe while in treatment, according to early tests.
In South Africa, where the first case of Omicron infections was reported, the nation’s Medical Research Council testified that the majority of patients impacted by Omicron infections did not require ventilators or emergency oxygen to breathe while in treatment.
While American health officials may believe it is too soon to say whether most Omicron infections are mild,
previous data suggest that Omicron infections are more likely to cause fatigue and body pains than other symptoms such as dyspnea or loss of taste and smell. This is especially true for persons who have been vaccinated but have developed breakthrough COVID-19 disease.
Experts describe what they’ve learned so far about Omicron symptoms and infections
and what Americans should know if they suspect they’re suffering from an Omicron-related illness
Some of the material in this story may have changed since it was last updated as more information about the coronavirus pandemic becomes available. Please consult the CDC, WHO, and your local public health department’s websites for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19.
To be clear, all health professionals concur that the possible list of symptoms for persons infected with
the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 virus is virtually unchanged. The Omicron form may infect individuals differently,
but the following symptoms are often the same as those seen earlier in the pandemic,
according to Janice Johnson, M.D., co-founder and medical director at Redirect Health. “With the influenza virus, we’ve seen this for years; every patient is different in terms of overall health, immunity level, and ability to combat the virus,” she adds.
What are some of the novel Omicron COVID-19 variants symptoms?
While the list of possible symptoms associated with Omicron infections is the same, limited data suggests that a few symptoms
primarily fatigue, feeling overtired or exhausted, and pain in multiple muscle groups
are far more common than breathlessness or a loss of taste and smell associated with previous coronavirus strains.
However, according to Nicholas Kman, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center,
most of the data currently being presented is restricted and based on stories from healthcare personnel on the ground in South Africa.
He tells Good Housekeeping that “the reporters from providers characterized South African patients as having extreme weariness but no loss of taste or smell.” “Symptoms of [Omicron] appear to be milder — such as scratchy throat, weariness, or headache — than more severe symptoms like fever and respiratory failure. However, your vaccination status, age, comorbidities conditions, and history of natural infections all have a role in your symptoms.”
Over the holiday season, research and statistics may provide a clearer picture of which COVID-19 symptoms are indeed the most common during an Omicron infection. According to Dr. Murphy, the earliest investigations on Omicron infections in South Africa were done on university students or younger people
who may incline to “milder disease.”
Unvaccinated persons may experience more severe symptoms than those
who completely vaccinated earlier this year or who had recently had a booster dose, according to all experts polled. According to the New York Times, the South African incidents cited by specialists include separate cases in immunized locals.
Is the COVID-19 Omicron version more contagious?
Even if weariness is your predominant symptom,
clinicians are unlikely to be able to tell if you have an Omicron COVID-19 infection without laboratory tests. Many respiratory viruses, including ordinary influenza, act similarly, according to Dr. Kman, which is why testing is still so critical at this point of the worldwide pandemic.
More research needed, but early indications show that this type of SARS-CoV-2 spreads more quickly. According to Dr. Johnson, this could be related to how the virus’ protein has altered, notably “the spike protein, or how the virus infects cells.”
She also speculates that the Omicron strain may share characteristics with the common cold or adenoviruses,
both of which are highly transmissible.
According to Dr. Kman, “estimates based on experience in South Africa allow scientists to infer that the Omicron variant is at least three times more contagious than earlier strains of SARS-CoV-2.” “It could be more contagious than the Delta variation, however [Delta] is still the most common strain in the United States, so it’s uncertain if this is the case.” Dr. Kman emphasizes that just because Omicron spreads faster than previous infections doesn’t mean those
who infected with it would automatically have harsher COVID-19 symptoms. “Mutations may make [SARS-CoV-2] enter your cells or replicate more quickly, but once inside your body, it still gives you the same illness,” he says, adding that in the future, variants are expected to remain consistent with the symptoms listed below.
Fatigue may be more closely related to Omicron infections right now, but it’s still a telltale sign of any COVID-19 infection
and should discuss with your doctor because it can mistake for a regular cold or even a hangover.
What are the most prevalent COVID-19 symptoms?
More data needed to determine whether “Omicron infections… cause more severe disease or mortality than infection with other variations,” according to CDC staff. The following are the most prevalent symptoms of COVID-19 infections, including those caused by Omicron, as stated by the CDC:
- Fever or chills in the body
- Throat irritation
- Breathing problems or shortness of breath
- Fatigue, as well as muscle and body aches
- Congestion or a runny nose are both symptoms of congestion.
- Vomiting or nausea
Within two to 14 days after exposure to SARS-CoV-2, any of these symptoms — in any order — may occur. Depending on the symptom, they may all be similarly severe or have varying degrees of severity.
The only method to protect oneself from COVID-19 and severe symptoms or death (including an Omicron-induced illness!) is to get a complete immunization.
According to preliminary research, those who vaccinated earlier in 2021 are likely now eligible for a booster dose, which proves to critical defense.
According to a Washington Post report based on data given by Pfizer and BioNTech this week,
additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccination generate enough antibodies to stop even Omicron versions.