As Covid cases continue to rise, experts have identified two early Omicron symptoms that are distinct to the variant and could help you distinguish it from a cold
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It’s become a bit of a habit for most of us to ask ourselves if we have Covid every time we feel poorly.
With the Omicron variant giving rise to sub-variants like stealth Omicron and Deltacron, and various symptoms becoming linked to the different variants of the virus, it can be hard to tell if you’re suffering from Covid or just a cold.
Knowing if you have Covid or a cold has become particularly difficult because the Omicron variant has symptoms that vary from the classic three signs of Covid and instead overlap with symptoms of a cold.
However, experts have identified two early signs that points towards you having Covid.
What two symptoms are early signs of Omicron?
Two early signs of Omicron, that are different to the main symptoms identified by the NHS, have been identified as fatigue and dizziness or fainting.
Fatigue is not just feeling tired. It can be accompanied by other symptoms like headaches as well as body pain due to weak or sore muscles. Sometimes it even leads to blurred vision and loss of appetite.
Dr Angelique Coetzee, who was the doctor to first raise the alarm on Omicron in South Africa – where the variant was first discovered in November 2021 – also highlighted fatigues as one of the main signs of Omicron.
The second early symptom of Omicron is dizziness, which could potentially lead to fainting.
This connection between fainting spells and Covid was first noted by a German newspaper Arztezeitung.
The possibility of fainting being a Covid symptom was first discovered by doctors in Berlin, who found that Covid was triggering recurrent fainting spells in a 35-year-old hospital patient.
What are the common symptoms of Omicron?
According to the NHS, the main symptoms of Covid are still a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss of taste/smell.
However, the signs of Omicron have been found to be vastly different from the classic three signs of Covid established previously.
A study in the infectious disease and epidemiology journal, Eurosurveillance, identified eight key symptoms of the Omicron variant.
These included cough, runny nose, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, fever and sneezing. Of these the first three symptoms were found to be the most common.
What to do if you have Covid?
According to government advice, you are no longer by law required to self isolate if you test positive for Covid.
However, the NHS still recommends you stay at home and avoid contact with others if you have symptoms.
The advice currently states: “While you’re no longer legally required to self-isolate if you have Covid-19, you should try to stay at home and away from others to avoid passing on the virus.”
The NHS recommends you stay away and avoid contact if you “have any of the main symptoms of Covid-19” or “have tested positive for Covid-19”.
It is recommended you take rapid lateral flow tests from five days after your symptoms start, and the next day.
If both your tests are negative and you don’t have a fever you’re less likely to pass on Covid to others.