What are the most common symptoms of the Omicron variant right now? | Top stories

What are the most common symptoms of the Omicron variant right now?

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World health leaders warn that omicron, the new variant of COVID discovered in late November, could cause a global rise in new cases with “serious consequences.” Researchers around the world are working tirelessly to learn all they can about this new iteration of the virus, which has a “Frankenstein mix” of mutations, including more than 30 on the all-important spike protein.

Right now there are more questions than answers. We do not know if the variant is more heritable. We don’t know if it makes people sicker. And we don’t know how well our current vaccines will hold up.

All of this uncertainty can certainly be overwhelming for people who have spent the past two years dealing with a pandemic crisis after a curve. Wondering what the new variant means for you and your family, and what symptoms you should watch out for now? Here’s what we know so far.

Preliminary reports suggest that symptoms of omicron strength be sweeter.

The first doctor to alert health authorities to omicron – which has treated around two dozen patients infected with the variant – told the Telegraph last week that the symptoms in the patients she saw were surprising to her and relatively mild.

“Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before,” Dr Angelique Coetze told point of sale. Most of his patients were simply extremely tired and a young child had an elevated heart rate. None have lost their sense of taste or smell.

But experts still don’t breathe easily. Even though the virus has spread to 20 countries (and potentially to the United States, but a case has yet to be reported), there is simply too little data to say how contagious omicron is. compared to previous versions of the virus. There is also not enough information to know whether it is more or less likely than previous variants, like the delta, to cause serious illness.

“There’s still a lot we don’t know about this new variant,” Dr. Mahdee Sobhanie, infectious disease physician at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, told HuffPost. Experts will take a close look at how the virus affects people based on their age, underlying immune status, and whether or not they were vaccinated, he said.

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Experts are still learning more about the symptoms of the new COVID variant Omicron.

If you have classic COVID symptoms or have been exposed, get tested as soon as possible.

Since it is still too early to tell if there are any particular symptoms more likely to be related to omicron, you should be on the lookout for the most common symptoms of COVID until this point in the week. pandemic: fever or chills, cough, runny nose. , headache or muscle pain, gastrointestinal problems, and loss of taste or smell.

People who show symptoms of COVID should definitely get tested, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes those who are fully vaccinated.

And you should also get tested if you don’t have symptoms, but have come into close contact with someone with COVID. (People who are fully vaccinated should wait five to seven days; those who are not fully vaccinated should be tested immediately, and then again several days later.)

Keep in mind that we are deep into respiratory virus season, and health officials have warned that flu cases are on the rise right now, especially among young people. There were also unusual spikes in respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. Symptoms for all of these illnesses can present quite similar to COVID, so testing is essential.

PCR tests remain the gold standard, while rapid antigenic tests are less reliable. Still, experts say they can be helpful in giving you an idea of ​​whether you’re contagious the day you take them, and home kits should become more readily available over the next month, as the Biden administration has Targeted to quadruple availability by December. .

Mask yourself and get boosted are crucial.

Experts like Sobhanie have said we should have more concrete information about omicron and whether it is likely to cause more serious illness in the coming weeks. He recognized how difficult it can be to wait, especially as the holiday season approaches, when families have questions about travel and reunions.

“There’s going to be this flow of data that’s going to happen – a little here, a little here, a little here. But you can’t make political decisions, and you can’t make clinical decisions, on a little bit of data, ”Sobhanie said. “You really have to know all the facts. “

For now, experts say the most important thing people can do is stick to the preventative measures that have worked so far: wear a mask when you’re in indoor public places with a transmission. large or high. Right now, that’s still pretty much the whole country.

Also, get vaccinated if you haven’t already and get boosted. The CDC has stepped up its recommendation in response to omicron’s threat to prevent serious illness, even as breakthrough infections become more common.

“What do we know that has worked before? We know that the vaccines have been very effective against the Delta variant. We know masking works. And I know it’s very difficult, but we just have to wait now and see what the data shows, ”Sobhanie said.

Experts are still learning more about COVID-19. The information in this story is what was known or available at the time of publication, but directions may change as scientists find out more about the virus. Please consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most recent recommendations.

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