Omicron: Scientists say one common symptom confirms presence of variant
Scientists say there is one common symptom among Omicron patients: Scratchy throat. Dr. Ryan Noach, the chief executive of South Africa-based Discovery Health, said it is the most common early sign. He added the symptoms are so far mild but that does not mean the new strain of coronavirus is less virulent. Here are more details on this.
Why does it matter?
- Omicron has triggered panic around the world and forced countries to impose sweeping restrictions once again.
- It is said to be the most heavily mutated strain of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 so far.
- Early data suggest it spreads fast but causes a milder illness compared to previous strains.
- The variant was first detected in southern Africa and has since spread to more than 75 countries.
What are other common symptoms?
Dr. Noach said doctors have noted a different set of symptoms among those testing positive for Omicron. The first symptom is usually followed by nasal congestion, a dry cough, and myalgia manifesting in lower back pain, he said at a briefing. Sir John Bell, a leading expert in the United Kingdom, separately said that stuffy nose and loose stools are also common among patients.
Symptom order varies with variants, study finds
In fact, the order in which symptoms appear in COVID-19 patients can differ with variants of the coronavirus, a new study has found. The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Southern California in the United States. They analyzed data from several countries to arrive at the findings. It has been published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.
80+ Omicron cases in India
In India, the tally of Omicron cases has climbed to 83 after 10 fresh infections were reported on Thursday. Karnataka, Delhi, and Gujarat reported five, four, and one new case, respectively. The number of Omicron cases is the highest in Maharashtra at 32. Other states that have reported cases include Rajasthan, Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Punjab.