Omicron variant: The unusual symptoms to spot that you ‘won’t recognise as Covid’

Omicron: Commuters have their say over coronavirus measures

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The Omicron variant is seeding across the world and is expected to supersede the Delta variant. In addition to scaling up the vaccination effort, knowing the warning signs and self-isolating if you spot them is key to slowing down community transmission. However, “official” advice may be steering you towards the wrong symptoms.

That’s the concern raised by King’s College London’s Professor Tim Spector, who is the lead on the ZOE Symptom Tracker App.

The ZOE Symptom Tracker App has been monitoring the movements of the pandemic and has been updating the picture as the virus mutates.

Professor Spector has said data from the app suggests about half of all cases are being “missed” because people are not presenting with “classic” Covid symptoms.

Despite calls to provide a more reflective list of the symptoms, the NHS still says to watch out for a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Successive strains of the virus have changed the nature of the symptoms, however.

He said: “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.”

Speaking to Times Radio, he added: “We’re estimating that somewhere between one in three and one in four colds are actually due to Covid.”

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