The top symptoms of the Omicron COVID-19 variant may be different from those that were common at the start of the pandemic. A UK study found that Omicron may be less severe than the delta version.
People with Omicron often report a sore throat and hoarse voice, which were not prevalent in Delta cases, as found in the Zoe Health Study. This is true for vaccinated and unvaccinated patients.
In a press release about the study, Zoe Health said those who contracted the Omron variant were less likely to be hospitalized than those with the delta variant. Symptoms also lasted for a shorter duration – an average of 6.87 days compared to 8.89 days.
beforeVariants often cause people to lose their sense of smell. The study found that symptoms appeared in less than 20% of cases and often a few days after the first symptom onset. Other severe symptoms that used to be common – such as fever, headache, brain fog and eye pain – are less common in Omicron cases. However, they can still happen.
The Zoe Health Study, which was supported by a grant from the UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Care, tested people in the UK who were vaccinated. They tested participants between June 1 and November 27, 2021 – when the Delta variant was dominant – and between December 20, 2021 and January 17, 2022 – when Omicron was dominant.
The study collected 62,002 positive tests and looked at the symptoms of those patients. In addition to the difference in length and type of symptoms between the two types, the researchers noted that Omicron is rarely found in the lower respiratory tract. This is where the infection can cause more severe symptoms, potentially sending people to the hospital.
They also found that omicron symptoms did not last as long in people who were vaccinated.
Studies have found that Delta is better than Omicron at infecting lung cells. And while Omicron appears to be much more transmissible than previous variants, according to Zoe Health, this variant affects fewer organs than Delta, other studies have found.
The Omicron subvariant prevalent in late 2021 and early 2022 was labeled BA.1. Dr. Celine Gounder told CBS News that there are now Omicron subvariants labeled BA.4 and BA.5 that cause re-damage to the sense of smell or taste.
A similar study from Imperial College London also found that there was less reporting of loss of sense of smell and taste for the Omicron variant. However, the study that has yet to be reviewed found that there were more reports of cold and influenza-like symptoms.
The study used data from REACT-1, a comprehensive UK survey that collected at-home COVID-19 tests from around 1.5 million participants between 2020 and 2022, and analyzed how symptoms varied between variants and subvariants. Huh.
Although it is believed that newer variants such as Omicron are mild, the Omicron subvariant ba.2 was associated with reporting more symptoms than the Omicron subvariant ba.1, with greater disruption in daily activities.