Home/ News / India/  New Omicron symptoms are on rise: Loss of smell, shortness of breath no longer among primary signs

Loss of smell, shortness of breath, stiffness in the chest or brain fog - these are no longer the primary symptoms that indicate you have COVID. In the last three years, as the virus has evolved, the symptoms that are associated with them have also changed. Doctors and health experts have pointed out that Omicron can cause a whole array of signs and symptoms that were previously not seen. Moreover, the symptoms for BA.5, which is the dominant variant currently, are slightly different, compared to even the original strain. 

Why Omicron symptoms are different from the original strain?

The majority of the people who are currently contracting coronavirus are either vaccinated or have been infected by it earlier, hence symptoms are milder and different from what were previously known. 

What are the new omicron symptoms?

Sore throat is still the predominant symptom. According to a report, sore throat was listed as a symptom in 53 percent of omicron cases, whereas just 34 percent of people with delta had a sore throat.

Another dominant Omicron symptom is headache. An Omicron headache usually has a moderate to intense pain with a sensation of pressure or stabbing. The location of the pain is on both sides of the head and this ache can usually last for more than three days.

The next two signs that are also quite common include blocked nose and cough without phlegm.

The most common symptoms for Omicron: Runny nose, Cough with phlegm, Hoarse voice, Sneezing, Fatigue, Muscle pains, Dizziness, Fever, Body aches, Loss of appetite, Nausea, Diarrhoea

Coronavirus incubation period getting shorter with new variants

Coronavirus incubation period, i.e. the time between when you are exposed to the virus and when the symptoms start showing, is getting shorter with each new variant, a new study has revealed.

For the original COVID strain that was found in 2019 in Wuhan, the incubation period was around 5.2 days. The Alpha variant took about five days for symptoms to develop after exposure. Meanwhile, for the Beta variant, the incubation period is 4.5 days. For Delta, the same was 4.41 days, while for Omicron it is 3.42 days.

“The findings of this study suggest that SARS-CoV-2 has evolved and mutated continuously throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, producing variants with different enhanced transmission and virulence," the study authors noted. “Identifying the incubation period of different variants is a key factor in determining the isolation period."

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Updated: 31 Aug 2022, 09:32 PM IST
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