OMICRON cases now make up over 90 per cent of coronavirus infections in the UK and more cases are being reported each day.
Experts have said that the majority of people who get Omicron will experience cold-like symptoms and that the illness is mild in comparison to previous variants.If you’re feeling unwell then it’s important you take a test to make sure that it’s not Covid-19[/caption]
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.
The symptoms associated with Omicron are the sort that could go undetected as they may present as a cold or a little niggle.
While most people won’t think anything of a sniffy nose or a twinge in their back, it’s important if you think you could have Omicron that you get a test and isolate – in order to avoid spreading the illness to others.
The three main symptoms of Covid-19, according to the NHS, are a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell.
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But experts say Omicron is unlikely to present this way, and have highlighted a few symptoms you must never ignore.
Looking out for cold-like symptoms could help keep you and others protected.
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The ZOE experts said: “This may come as a surprise to some, as the UK government never updated guidance on Covid symptoms beyond the classic three symptoms.”
The experts said that at the moment, symptoms such as as runny nose, sneezing and a sore throat, are among those being most recorded.
Lower back pain, muscle aches and night sweats are also key symptoms.
These six symptoms could often go undetected as they could be put down to a cold or the flu.
Lower back pain and muscle aches can also be dismissed if you’ve been hitting the gym hard recently, so it’s always important to take a test if you’re unsure.
Night sweats have also been reported and Dr Amir Khan, described “drenching night sweats”, the kind “where you might have to get up and change your clothes”.
But for some people, night sweats might be a regular occurrence and those who suffer from night sweats include people going through the menopause, anxiety, certain medications, drugs and booze, as well as hyperhidrosis – which is a condition that makes you sweat a lot.
Making sure you know the signs is one way you can prevent the bug spreading.
Another key way to avoid spreading Covid, catching it and it making you unwell, is to have your booster vaccine.
A booster shot is the best protection against Omicron, with early data suggesting it pushes efficacy back up to 75 per cent.
Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA Chief Executive said: “Once again, we urge everyone who is able to get a booster jab to come forward and do so. It is the best defence we have against this highly transmissible new variant.”
GET A TEST
Anyone who feels unwell and has symptoms should get a test.
Lateral flow tests are a great way to keep everyone safe as they provide fast results.
Experts say you should be taking lateral flow tests on the day of meeting someone in order to stop the spread of the variant.
You must report all lateral flow test results to the NHS.
Guidance says if your rapid at-home test gives a positive, you should self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test, then follow the rules based on that result.
Lateral flow tests are known to be less reliable than the gold-standard PCR tests that are looked at by scientists in a lab.
But they are still incredibly important to controlling the virus, experts say, as they give fast results to people who otherwise may never have known they were infected.