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Coronavirus: With new variants of corona, there is a constant change in its symptoms

Coronavirus Symptoms: For the past two years, lakhs of members have been sending their daily health reports to the Joe Kovid Study, which helps us to know more and more about the epidemic as it progresses. Notably, 48 crore reports sent through the study’s app showed that as the virus has evolved, so have its symptoms.

In 2020, it became clear that the original and alpha variants of the coronavirus have three very common symptoms – cough, fever and shortness of breath, along with at least 20 other symptoms. These included fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, muscle aches and abdominal infections, as well as more unusual occurrences such as skin rashes and “Covid tongue”.

Changes seen in the symptoms of Delta variant

When the delta variant appeared, we saw a change in the most commonly reported traits. The earlier common symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever and loss of smell were left behind. Cold-like symptoms – including runny nose, sore throat and persistent sneezing – became more common with headache and cough, especially in people who had been vaccinated.

It looks like Omicron is continuing the trend set by Delta. It is causing symptoms that are similar to those of a regular cold, especially in those who have been vaccinated, and less common systemic symptoms, such as nausea, muscle pain, diarrhea and skin rash.

Differences in Delta and Omicron Traits

We looked at health reports from people who reported having COVID in December as Omicron spread to the UK, and compared them with data from early October, when delta was the dominant variant. We then checked our findings from this comparison by analyzing data from a small group of contributors who were told by the government that their positive PCR results were suspected or confirmed Omicron infections.

Our analysis showed no significant differences across all symptom profiles for Delta and Omicron, with the top five symptoms being runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, and sore throat in both time periods. But when it comes to the overall spread of symptoms, there are some clear differences.

For example, anosmia (loss of smell or taste) was in the top ten in October, but has dropped to number 17. What was once a leading indicator of covid, is now seen only in about one in five people who test positive. And according to our statistics, less than a third of people (29%) will ever experience a fever, which is much less common than it used to be.

Importantly, we found that only half of people with COVID had any of the classic three symptoms of fever, cough or loss of smell, suggesting that the government’s guidance for PCR testing (which states that if you have If you have any one of these symptoms then you should get tested) is now out of date.

How bad is Omicron?

This new variant is much more contagious than the previous variant, which has seen a spurt in cases across the UK and other countries. While it is not yet clear whether we are facing a massive wave of hospitalizations from the disease, it is important to remember that Omicron and Delta can feel like a cold for many of us, nonetheless. It can kill or cause visible symptoms for a long time.

Till now, we have seen most of the cases in younger people, but now we are seeing increasing cases in older age people as well, while the overall infection rate is so high. We expect that high levels of vaccination in the UK in older and more vulnerable groups will continue to lead to mild symptoms and few hospitalizations. The major problem with Omicron is the high wave of illness absenteeism among key healthcare workers.

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Is it Omicron or winter?

As winter progresses in the UK, there have been some very bad winters, as well as the perennial flu. The Joe Kovid Study App data tells us that the symptoms caused by the current Kovid variant are similar to those of the common cold. This means that it is not possible to know for sure what you have based on symptoms alone. When COVID rates are high, a sore throat, runny nose, or unusual tiredness should be considered COVID until you are tested.

So if you or a family member is feeling unwell, it may be COVID, especially if you are sneezing a lot. You should stay at home and get tested to be sure. If you are feeling unwell or sick with cold-like symptoms then it is best to stay at home, to avoid coming in contact with other people. And if you go out, wear a mask. Avoid spreading your germs to others who may be more susceptible.

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