Home / Science / Health /  Omicron can affect your gut; symptoms to watch out for

Are you suffering from vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain without fever? It might happen due to the Omicron variant infection, and experts say that one should get tested for Covid-19 if you have these abdominal complaints even without respiratory symptoms or fever.

The new strain can affect your gut apart from upper respiratory tract and the abdominal symptoms are becoming common in those infected with Omicron. Even individuals who are vaccinated against the viruare experiencing these new symptoms.

Some of the new symptoms of coronavirus include nausea, abdominal ache, vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhoea.

Dr Manoj Goel, Director, Pulmonology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram has said, "The people may initially present with abdominal symptoms without any respiratory complaints. The presenting complaints could be back ache, abdominal ache, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhoea. This could be due to Omicron infecting the gut mucosa and the resulting inflammation."

He further said that even though double-vaccinated people are also coming forward with complaints of abdominal issues, these symptoms are not adverse and not of much concern.

"Do not pass off abdominal pain, nausea and loss of appetite as a normal flu, if you have symptoms, isolate yourself. Avoid self-medication including so-called safe Ayurvedic treatment without consulting your doctor. Try and maintain good hydration, eat frequent, small, wholesome and light meals including nuts. Avoid spicy food and alcohol. Symptoms if mild might not be of concern," Dr Goel was quoted as saying by HT.

He added, "One should test for Covid if you have abdominal complaints even without respiratory symptoms or fever as this could be due to Omicron infection."

Omicron appears to be continuing the trend set by delta. It’s causing symptoms that are much more like a regular cold, particularly in people who’ve been vaccinated, and fewer general systemic symptoms, such as nausea, muscle pains, diarrhoea and skin rashes.

How bad is omicron?

This new variant is much more infectious than previous variants, causing a surge in cases across the UK and in other countries. And although it’s not yet clear whether we will be facing an overwhelming wave of hospitalisations from the disease, it’s important to remember that while omicron and delta may feel like a cold to many of us, it can still kill or cause long-term symptoms that disrupt daily life, especially for people who have not been vaccinated or are immunocompromised.

So far, we’ve seen the majority of cases in younger people, but we’re also now seeing cases rising in older age groups while the overall infection rate remains so high. The recent rise in positive cases in the over-75s is worrying, but we’re hopeful that the high levels of vaccination in the UK in older and more vulnerable groups will continue to translate to milder symptoms and few hospitalisations. The major problem with omicron is more the wave of sickness absence it’s causing in key health staff.

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