Home/ Science / Health/  Omicron symptoms: How do you know you are infected with the virus?

As infections of the Omicron Covid-19 variant continue to spread around the world, there have been reports that symptoms of this variant are different from the other variants of SARS-CoV-2. The complications related to coronavirus infections can continue for months even after recovering. This holds true even for patients who have suffered mild to moderate infections. Fever, cough, tiredness, loss of taste or smell are the most common symptoms of Omicron

Dr Sonam Solanki, consultant pulmonologist and bronchoscopist, Masina Hospital lists out the symptoms of Omicron which one should watch out for.

How do you know you are infected with Omicron variant?

“The symptoms of omicron generally start with body ache, generalised weakness, fatigue, headache and fever in the initial days and eventually they might also develop a cough which is sometimes dry along with a cold where there is water from the nose, sneezing, etc. The cough is typically dry which resolves over the next few days. Most of the time i.e. in 80% of the patients, fever is resolving over the first 3 days and if not, then that becomes a sign of moderate to severe infection which needs close monitoring," said Dr Sonam Solanki.

She adds, isolating at the right time and preventing the spread of infection from yourself to your other family members is key. That is why using the rapid antigen is key and if the rapid antigen is negative and you are still symptomatically doing the RTPCR will assure that you do not miss any covid omicron cases and you ensure that you don’t end up spreading it to more people.

Even if you have to go out, be properly masked. When you have symptoms and you need to step out for whatever reason you have to be in an N95 mask, the doctor suggested.

"We know that the omicron infection is much more infectious than the other mutant which is why we have to be very cautious. It is very infectious that is why we need to be properly masked up in public spaces and in high-risk spaces like hospitals, medical facilities are very important. When you have symptoms and you need to step out for whatever reason you have to be in an N95 mask. A simple cloth or surgical mask may not suffice if you are symptomatic and coughing," Dr Sonam said.

Five most common symptoms of the Omicron

According to US CDC analysis, the five most common symptoms of the Omicron variant are cough, fatigue, congestion, runny nose and generalised body ache. Recently, the UK-based Zoe Covid app study added new symptoms such as nausea and loss of appetite.

Dr Harish Chafle, Senior Consultant - Pulmonology and Critical Care at Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai says symptoms are classified into most common symptoms, less common symptoms and serious symptoms.

Most common symptoms of Omicron

Fever, cough, tiredness, loss of taste or smell.

Less common symptoms of Omicron

Sore throat, headache, aches, pains, diarrhoea, a rash on the skin, discolouration of fingers or toes red or irritated eyes.

Serious symptoms of Omicron

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, loss of speech or mobility, or confusion or chest pain.

One of the tell-tale signs of COVID's Omicron variant is body ache also night sweats could be telling symptoms of the new Omicron variant that may arise at night. Pain in the body is a sign of infection, adds Dr Harish Chafle.

Apart from the three main symptoms, the unusual symptoms in this wave are loose motions and abdominal cramps, says Dr Behram Pardiwala, Director Internal Medicine, Wockhardt Hospital.“In the 3rd wave, there are 3 main symptoms. A severe headache. Severe body pain is associated with a severe backache. And a bad cold with a runny nose and a throat ache. Unusual symptoms in this wave are loose motions and abdominal cramps," he said.

Sangeeta Ojha
A business media enthusiast. Writes on personal finance, banking and real estate.
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Updated: 02 Feb 2022, 08:11 AM IST
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