Omicron is known to cause fatigue, headaches, and sniffles. A major study suggests that the virus may be more similar to the common cold than Covid.

Omicron has been growing rapidly in London and the analysis of Omicron cases revealed that the symptoms most commonly seen between December 3-10 were headaches, runny noses, fatigue, nausea, sneezing and sore throats. 

None of these are the classic signs of the virus that Britons are warned to watch for — a new continuous cough, high temperature or change/loss of their sense of taste and smell. 

The ZOE Symptom Tracking study’s lead scientist, Professor Tim Spector is an Epidemiologist. He has advised Britons to be on the lookout for Omicron signs in the weeks leading up to Christmas and when they meet friends and family. 

He said, “Hopefully people recognize the cold-like symptoms that appear to be Omicron’s predominant feature.” 

People should avoid Omicron symptoms. They include cold symptoms like runny noses and headaches.

‘Ahead of Christmas, if people want to get together and keep vulnerable family members safe, I’d recommend limiting social contact in the run up to Christmas and doing a few Lateral Flow Tests just before the big family gathering.’ 

This warning is in addition to numerous other reports that Omicron can cause milder illnesses than previous variants. Scientists are still trying out to determine if Omicron is intrinsically weaker, if there’s a higher level of immunity or both. 

The UK’s Covidsymptom Tracking Study has reported that Omicron cases can trigger cold-like health issues like runny eyes and sneezing. These symptoms are not the traditional signs of the disease from earlier periods like persistent coughs.

Professor Tim Spector, who runs the UK's largest Covid symptom-tracking study has said symptoms of Omicron are 'predominantly' the same as the common cold

Professor Tim Spector, who runs the UK’s largest Covid symptom-tracking study has said symptoms of Omicron are ‘predominantly’ the same as the common cold

Government data shows the number of Covid cases with no symptoms has increased steadily since week 17, towards the end of April, which was when vaccines were being rolled out people in their 40s

The government has shown that the proportion of Covid patients with no symptoms increased steadily over week 17. This was at the beginning of April, when vaccines started to be rolled out for those in their 40s.

Why is Omicron spreading quickly? Research claims that Omicron is 70 times more infectious than Delta in the airways.

A study has shown that the Omicron strain multiplies 70x faster than Delta in airways. It may be why this mutant virus spreads at such a rapid pace.

The new variant was also detected by researchers at Hong Kong University to replicate 10 times more slowly in the lungs that its predecessor.

This finding supports the hypothesis that it’s milder than previous variants. South African doctors have claimed this for several weeks.

Researchers exposed lung tissue to original Covid strain, which was discovered in Wuhan last January, in order to see how they behave following infection.

Omicron replicated faster in the bronchus — tubes connecting the windpipe and lungs — suggesting people with the strain may be more infectious.

Persons who have higher viral loads in the throat are more likely than others to exhale viral particles.

Delta replication was much more rapid in the lungs where it can cause severe illnesses.

This finding could be the reason doctors say that people with this strain do not experience cold-like symptoms.

UK guidance currently only recognises three symptoms as early warning signs of an infection with the virus, a new continuous cough, a high temperature, and a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell.   

But experts have repeatedly called for this list to be expanded, saying it misses cases in the early stages — increasing the risk of the virus being transmitted. 

The CDC in the USA and countries around it have identified over ten Covid warning indicators and warned their citizens about fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, and more.

This week Professor Spector made separate remarks that ‘classic Covid symptoms’ such as a fever or cough are only found in a small percentage of cases. 

Omicron may be undermining the UK’s vaccination protection against infection. However, he stated that people still needed to get jabs. 

He said that Omicron boosters are causing mild infections up to 3 times more in Omicron area than in Delta variant areas. However, they remain very protective and are a crucial weapon. 

UKHSA data also indicates that Covid positive patients, who are not so severe as to show any symptoms, have increased steadily since vaccinations began being distributed in mass quantities earlier this year.

At the beginning of April, 1% of Covid-positive people had no symptoms. But, by the middle of December, that number dropped to just below 10%.  

South Africa’s real world data also showed that Omicron may be more effective at avoiding the benefits of vaccines but can cause milder cases.

The country’s officials who examined 78,000 Omicron case reports estimated that the risk of hospitalisation was a fifth lower than with Delta and 29 per cent lower than the original virus. 

Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer of Britain, dismissed yesterday’s initial findings and called for serious caution in applying these findings to Britain. 

The UK saw a Omicron super-preader event in which 16 of the 18 people who attended a December birthday party later became positive. This only led to mild symptoms.

The majority of guests to the Somerset party, south west England’s, party were aged 60-70 years old and had been fully vaccinated. However, Omicron was still caught from one person who is believed to have been positive at the party.

However, none of them were required to be hospitalized or seen a doctor. Most suffered the’sniffles’ or sore throat. 

Although scientists have improved their understanding of Covid’s symptoms over the years, it is believed that vaccines may also play a part in the reduction of severe Covid symptoms. 

Covid jabs are not 100% effective in preventing the spread of the virus but they can significantly reduce your chance of getting seriously ill. 

Omicron might not be milder: Chris Whitty urges caution over the promising Covid hospitalisation statistics in South Africa

Professor Chris Whitty today called for ‘serious caution’ over a raft of promising data which suggests Omicron may cause milder disease. 

There are fewer Covid-infected South Africans being admitted to hospitals in South Africa than before. This suggests that it is more lethal than its rivals.  

But England’s chief medical officer told a Downing Street press briefing that the figures were to be expected, simply because the country had higher levels of immunity going into the wave than during the summer, when Delta struck. 

Professor Whitty cautioned that the UK may not experience the same situation because the Delta didn’t strike as severely. He also warned that the last wave of flooding in South Africa was much more recent, which meant its immunity to the virus was stronger. 

He told the nation the Government was currently lacking ‘clear data on some of the really key questions’, such as how Britain’s vaccinated wall of defence — which began a year ago — will hold up. But experts insist the jabs offer great protection against serious illness and that boosters are an option to increase the odds of getting them again.

According to him, there was a lot of discussion about South African scientists and doctors indicating that Omicron might reduce the number of hospitalisations. It has been completely misunderstood.

“The level of immunity in this wave due to prior Delta waves and vaccinations is significantly higher than that of their previous wave. It is therefore not surprising that they are hospitalized at a lower rate this time.

‘That doesn’t mean there is some degree of milder disease — that is possible — but I think there is a danger that people have overinterpreted this to say this is not a problem and there’s nothing to worry about. Let me be very clear: I fear this will be a problem. 

This record-breaking 26,976 cases have been detected in South Africa over the past 24 hours. They surpass the earlier high of early July, when Delta ran rampant.

This also saw an increase of 36% on Wednesday and increased cases week-on-week across all provinces except Gauteng (where data indicate that the epidemic might have reached its peak).

Covid jabs are used to give the body instructions on how to create the antibodies needed to combat the infection. 

A Covid jab can potentially make a severe virus case milder. 

While more data on Omicron is emerging, research from May this year indicated  that only a third of people with at least one Covid vaccine got the ‘classic’ symptoms — a high temperature, new continuous cough and loss of taste and smell, of the virus.

The study, by King’s College London epidemiologists also found that, in comparison, more than half of unjabbed people who caught Covid people suffered the normal warning signs.                

The level of protection Covid jabs offer from severe illness caused by Omicron is still emerging but SAGE modelling this week indicated two Covid jabs should still slash the risk of dying from Omicron by up to 84 per cent but a booster is twice as good at preventing someone from falling ill, according to official estimates. 

The SAGE modelling worked off the assumption that two Pfizer doses give 83.7 per cent protection against hospitalisation and death from the highly-evolved strain. 

A 2-dose AstraZeneca vaccine course was shown to decrease the Omicron severe disease risk by 77.1 percent. The risk of Omicron-related severe disease was reduced by both vaccines brands within three to six weeks.

The Government’s scientists advise that protection from AstraZeneca jabs may be reduced to 61.3 percent for Pfizer and 66.7 per cent for Pfizer.

A booster dose of Pfizer’s vaccine was estimated to top-up immunity to over 93 per cent, regardless of which jab someone was originally given — providing a similar level of protection as two doses did against Delta. 

Even though the majority of Omicron cases are not severe, the UK health system continues to be prepared for an increase in Omicron-related hospitalizations.

The reason is that, even though the virus is less severe, this variant is more likely to infect people and send them to hospitals.   

Professor Whitty stated that it was ‘entirely probable’ that Covid admissions daily in the new wave would surpass January’s peak of 4,583.

Last night’s chief medical officer warned Omicron that “all the things that are known, are bad”. He told MPs about hospitalisations this morning: ‘I don’t want this to happen as I’m saying it will. There are many possibilities. But the maximum of 4,500 people – that is, 4,583 – was the most severe.

It is possible, as this will be extremely concentrated. Even if the concentration is lower, it can still result in a greater number of patients than if they were admitted to hospital for a single day. It is possible. Maybe it’s less. However, I am merely stating that it is possible.

The second was that some people might be admitted to hospital sooner due to their immunity from previous vaccinations. Also, fewer patients may need intensive care.