Omicron: This is how to distinguish the variant from the common cold

How to tell if what you have is just a common cold or the super-transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus? This is what experts have to say.

Now more than ever, it is important to watch out for even the slightest symptom associated with the coronavirus, as cases have been exploding all throughout the UK and the rest of Europe.

Difference in progression of symptoms

Although symptoms can be similar between those of the common cold and the Omicron variant, there are key differences to take into account to prevent further spreading of the virus. According to virologist and Professor of Molecular Oncology Lawrence Young, people who have been infected with the Omicron strain will experience symptoms much more rapidly. He explains that:

There does seem to be an overlap with cold symptoms and there is an estimation from data from ZOE that a quarter of people who have colds actually have Covid.

And added:

They do overlap but it seems that the onset of a cold is a bit more gradual. But with Omicron people get headaches and fatigue rapidly if they have Covid, whereas a cold develops over a few days.

What symptoms to specifically watch out for?

Since the emergence of the newest strain of the virus in South Africa last month, researchers have been collecting data to look into the specificities of this particular strain. What they have found is that the Omicron variant is not only more transmissible than previous mutations, but that it also manifests itself in different types of symptoms. Dr Amir Khan reveals that these five symptoms are indicative of the latest strain of the coronavirus:

The symptoms that are coming out of South Africa by the doctors that are looking after patients with Omicron show these five new symptoms.

And added:

A scratchy throat, mild muscle aches, extreme tiredness, a dry cough and night sweats. Those kind of drenching night sweats where you might have to get up and change your clothes.
COVID: Will Omicron be the last variant? COVID: Will Omicron be the last variant?