According to a scientist who has been studying the pandemic, more than one out of every four people who think they have a cold might actually be infected with the Delta or Omicron strain. Fully vaccinated people experience milder symptoms of COVID-19 if they catch the virus. However, early evidence suggests that the Omicron variant may also cause cold-like symptoms.
Meaning, people with COVID-19 are not aware they have been infected because they do not have symptoms like a cough or a loss of taste.
Precautions are necessary
According to Professor Tim Spector, everybody who feels even slightly sick should get tested, as they risk transmitting Covid to vulnerable groups. He has advised people to stay at home for a few days and avoid Christmas parties until their symptoms subsided. The lead researcher for the Covid Zoe app told Times Radio:
We’re estimating that somewhere between one in three and one in four colds are actually due to Covid.
And so that’s quite a high rate of people that are currently not even bothered to get a lateral flow test, or getting a PCR test, going to parties and spreading it around.
Considering people are not willing to get tested because of mild symptoms, he further added:
We should really be encouraging people not to come into the office, not to go to that Christmas party if they’re feeling unwell. Take a test and then, when the symptoms subside, then they can come out — it doesn’t have to be 10 days but just those first few days are probably the most crucial.
May not have classic symptoms
The World Health Organization has said that there is no evidence that the symptoms of Omicron are distinct from those of earlier Covid strains. However, numerous people who have tested positive have presented with symptoms that differ from those reported by the NHS throughout the pandemic.
Professor Spector claims that roughly half of all Delta instances are currently missed since individuals assume they don't have Covid unless they have the typical symptoms. He argued:
Omicron is probably more, much more similar to the mild variants we’re seeing in people who have been vaccinated with Delta than anything else.
And so, it is going to be producing cold-like symptoms that people won’t recognise as Covid if they just believe the official Government advice.
It was disclosed yesterday that 336,893 new COVID-19 cases had been reported in the previous seven days, with 45,691 on Tuesday — the highest number since the week of January 16. The total number of Omicron variant cases stands at 568, while booster vaccine rollout is still considered to be slow as compared to the number of people the government plans to cover.