THE Omicron coronavirus variant has been with us for over a month now and most people who catch it have said it feels like the common cold.
Experts have however warned of two unpredictable symptoms that you should be on the look out for.
This version of the Covid virus is presenting as more cold-like, especially in people who have been vaccinated.
Associate medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at University of California Irvine Health, Shruti Gohil explained that while nausea and vomiting might not be key signs of the virus, they could sit alongside other symptoms and mean you should take a Covid test.
A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron is milder than other strains for the vaccinated, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.
Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.
The Sun's Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits' arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.
Studies have shown that people who have Covid-19 can sometimes experience gastrointestinal symptoms.
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Published in the Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection, experts found that that nausea and vomiting were two of the most common symptoms that sat beside other key Covid symptoms such as a sore throat or loss of taste and smell.
The study suggests that issues like diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting could be triggered by the Covid infection.
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The reason people are sick, they suggest, is due to the body's inflammatory response to the virus infection.
Dr Gohil said that there are many symptoms of Covid-19 and that vomiting might not always be down to the virus.
She told Good Housekeeping that if you experience gastrointestinal symptoms along with headache, fever and body chills, fatigue, cough or congestion then you should get tested.
Experts behind the 2021 study said that healthcare professionals need to be more aware that gastrointestinal symptoms are commonly part of Covid-19 infection.
They said: "Recognising characteristics of nausea and vomiting can raise suspicion of Covid-19, leading to early testing and diagnosis of the disease, and help people fight the virus in the long run."]
Most of the time, Omicron will present as an upper respiratory infections, experts say.
Professor Irene Petersen, a professor of epidemiology and health informatics at University College London, said: “A runny nose and headache are symptoms of many infections, but may also be the first symptoms – and only symptoms – of Covid.
When should I seek medical attention?
The CDC says you must seek medical attention if you experience any of the below symptoms:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
- Inability to wake up (struggling to get up) or stay awake
The NHS said you should call 111 or seek medical attention if you're gradually feeling more unwell or more breathless.
This could mean that you need an aide to help you breath such as more oxygen.
The NHS also states that you should seek medical attention if you have difficulty breathing when you stand up or move around and if you feel very weak, achy or tired.
It states that if you still feel unwell four weeks after first contracting Covid then you might be suffering with long Covid.
This is a set of illnesses and conditions which are triggered by the virus and are long lasting.
"Therefore, if you have these symptoms, I’d encourage you to use lateral flow tests for a couple of days.”
It comes as around 20 Omicron symptoms have been revealed as ones you are most likely to get.
This doesn't mean there aren't others that could pop up, but these have been most reported by people who caught the variant.
They logged what they were experiencing on the ZOE Covid Study – with the top five remaining as runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing and a sore throat.
But other symptoms in the top 20 include a hoarse voice, chills or shivers, brain fog, feeling dizzy, skipped meals and feeling down.
The symptoms appear to come on faster than Delta, with a shorter incubation period.
People who experience Omicron symptoms are likely to get them within two-five days after exposure.
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