COVID: This is how long Omicron symptoms last, according to experts

Data suggests that symptoms are getting milder and people are recovering faster with the Omicron variant.

Omicron variant
© Andriy Onufriyenko/GETTY IMAGES
Omicron variant

The Omicron variant has been infecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated people at an unprecedented rate. Every day, medical professionals have been uncovering new and surprising symptoms that distinguish this variant from the previous emerging strains but one question still remains—how long do these symptoms last?

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Mild infection

Speaking to Sky News, Professor Time Spector, leader of the Zoe COVID symptom study, said people are no longer taking weeks to recover from infections. His team studied 1,000 Omicron cases and found that they had a ‘fairly mild illness and nearly everyone got better after about five days.’

According to the Washington Post, Ryan Noach, the chief executive of South African health provider Discovery Health, came to a similar conclusion after their own study. He said that anecdotal evidence showed that the symptoms normally showed up within three or four days after initial infection in vaccinated people and most recovered in three days in South Africa.

He also highlighted that patients who had severe reactions to the infection and were admitted to the hospital were mostly unvaccinated individuals.

Both experts have, however, argued that while these conclusions may seem like a ray of hope, it is still ‘early days' and rate at which the virus is spreading could be catastrophic.

Omicron variant or a cold?

Furthermore, Professor Spector emphasised that there is a huge resemblance between the influenza virus and the Omicron variant that people need to be aware about. In fact, he says that the similarities were already emerging with the Delta variant.

Given that it’s getting increasingly harder to differentiate between the two, he recommends all those who have cold-like symptoms to get tested and not ‘wait for a loss of taste, a temperature and a cough.’ These are symptoms that may no longer appear with the new mutation. He added:

More than 50% of people are presenting, and never getting those other symptoms, and yet they are testing PCR positive.
COVID: Will Omicron be the last variant? COVID: Will Omicron be the last variant?