Omicron: Five symptoms to look out for
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It can be difficult to spot the tell-tale signs of the new variant as they can be different from what we have been told about Covid so far. The original three symptoms listed on the NHS website read as cough, fever and loss or change to your smell and taste. However, the Omicron variant seems to be targeting different parts of your body as well. According to research, one of the tell-tale signs includes changes in how you think.
The ZOE COVID Study app has been monitoring the new coronavirus variant ever since it entered the UK.
The Omicron strain has been mainly prevalent London so far.
The most recent data has looked at the confirmed or suspected cases of Omicron in the capital using the ZOE COVID Study.
While 50 percent of people who tested positive have reported being targeted by the original coronavirus symptoms, the other half is experiencing different signs.
One of the tell-tale Omicron symptoms among these is brain fog.
ZOE has identified this sign affecting the brain as a “common symptom” based on the app contributor reports.
This symptom has been previously linked to long Covid, with many reporting struggles with thinking clear even months after battling the virus.
How does the new Omicron symptom present?
Brain fog describes how an individual feels when their thinking is sluggish, fuzzy and not sharp, explains the Harvard Medical School.
Covid seems to affect various parts of our body including our brains and other organ systems, shares Dr Andrew E. Budson.
He describes that damage to the lungs, heart, kidneys or other organs and the accompanying symptoms can impair your thinking, leaving you with brain fog.
Unlike with long Covid, Omicron seems to be causing this symptom right from the beginning of the infection.
However, we’re missing research explaining how this exactly works.
Bangor University is currently studying the link between long Covid and the brain-affecting symptom.
An article from the university said: “Decisions as seemingly simple as having tea or coffee to drink can throw some individuals, while others can have difficulties with short or long-term memory.
“The loss of functional ability has major consequences for people who are affected, their families and the wider economy, given people’s difficulty in returning to work.”
Although many are reporting brain fog as a symptom of Omicron, another common sign is loss of appetite, The ZOE COVID Study app states.
Other top five symptoms concluded by their research include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat.
The South African Dr Angelique Coetzee, who first raised alarm around Omicron, reported that she noticed that sore throat presents more as “scratchy”.
She described the symptoms based on observing a patient, who showed unusual symptoms compared to the Delta variant.
Dr Coetzee added that the Omicron symptoms seem to be “mild”.
Remember, if you experience any coronavirus symptoms, you have to self-isolate until you receive a negative result from a PCR test, the NHS reminds.
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