Home/ News / India/  COVID new variant: When to get tested amid fears of XBB.1.5 and Omicron BF.7?

COVID is not over yet. Even though the symptoms related to coronavirus are much less severe now, the virus still continues to create havoc the world over. Two new variants - Omicron BF.7 and Omicron XBB.1.5 - are the main cause of concern right now as they have caused massive spikes in different parts of the world. And amid the rise of the new variant, many are worried about what are the symptoms to look out for and when to get tested for COVID. 

What are the symptoms of new COVID variants? 

As per studies, there are no symptoms specific to the new variants and they are more or less similar to the previous variants. And the top symptoms linked to the variant include - sore throat, cough, muscle aches, tiredness, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose and fever. 

Experts have also pointed out that the symptoms for the new variants are ‘cold-like’. 

What are the striking differences between cold and COVID?  

One can start seeing COVID symptoms any time from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, common cold symptoms typically appear 1 to 3 days after exposure to a cold-causing virus.

"Unlike COVID-19, a cold is usually harmless. Most people recover from a common cold in 3 to 10 days. But some colds may last as long as two or three weeks," as per Mayo Clinic. 

When to get tested for the infection?

If you have the symptoms, get tested immediately, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cited

In case you were exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, the health body recommends waiting at least 5 full days after your exposure before testing. If you test too early, you may end up getting an inaccurate COVID test result.

Why it is important to get tested?

The symptoms related to the coronavirus are much milder now, but even then it is important to take proper medication and follow COVID- appropriate behavior in case you catch the virus. 

First of all, even if the initial symptoms of the infection are perceived to be milder, the long-term effects of the disease are still not known. Second, in case the virus gets to circulate, the chances of mutation and emergence of more dangerous variants become higher. 



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Updated: 23 Jan 2023, 10:01 PM IST
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