Ongoing study reports two new Omicron symptoms; all you need to know

The Omicron variant — or B.1.1.529 — which has been designated as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) has been spreading faster, even though the symptoms have been mild. Now, shedding more light on the same, a Covid-19 fitness tracking app in the United Kingdom, called ZOE Covid study app, has reported two new symptoms that have been seen in Omicron patients — nausea and loss of appetite.

As per Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, who is leading the study, these symptoms are common in those who are double-jabbed or even boosted.

“Quite a few of them had nausea (and therefore lack of appetite), slight temperature, sore throats and headaches,” he said in a YouTube video.

Using recent data from London, where Omicron prevalence is higher than other region of the UK, ZOE data scientists analysed symptom data from positive cases recorded in the study and compared with data from early October when Delta was dominant. They found that only 50 per cent of the patients have experienced the classic three symptoms of fever, cough, or loss of sense of smell or taste. They also found that there was no significant difference in the symptom profile of Delta and Omicron variants.

“These findings come from a very small batch of data who have reported their RT-PCR to be positive and includes but suspected and confirmed Omicron cases. We need to look into a larger data to confirm the same,” said Dr Chetan Rao Vaddepally, consultant pulmonologist, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad.

“Omicron-related infections are very mild, and include throat issues, loss of appetite, and generalised weakness. The conventional symptoms like cough, cold, breathlessness, loss of sense of smell and taste are not seen in majority of cases, as per national and international data,” Dr Gopi Krishna Yedlapati, consultant interventional pulmonologist, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad told in an earlier interview.

Agreed Dr Sanket Jain, pulmonologist Consultant, Masina Hospital who also shared that “one of my patients, just five days back, got admitted with a complaint of loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. As per protocol, we conducted RT-PCR, and it came positive. Such symptoms are commonly being observed nowadays especially in infections of Omicron”.

Should you get tested if you have nausea and loss of appetite?

As per the study, people infected are between 40 and 70 per cent less likely to be admitted to hospitals. “While Omicron and Delta may feel like a cold to many of us, it can kill and leave 1 in 50 with long-term symptoms that disrupt their day-to-day lives,” warns the study app.

What can you do to protect yourself and others from Omicron?

Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain noted that people with no travel history found infected with Omicron means “it’s gradually spreading in community”.

As per ZOE app, it is important to

*Recognise “all of the symptoms of Omicron, get tested and isolate when you experience them”
*If you live in an area experiencing high rates of infection, consider staying home and reducing social contact
*Get fully vaccinated
*Wear a mask in crowded places
*Improve your immune health with small changes to your diet

As per MoHFW, it is essential to mask yourself properly, take both doses of vaccines (if not yet vaccinated), maintain social distancing and maintain good ventilation.

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