Omicron Symptoms: In December 2021, when Omicron became dominant, we compared the health reports from UK participants reporting positive cases in the ZOE COVID Study app. This was compared with data from early October when Delta was dominant.
Our findings were also confirmed by analyzing data from a small group of contributors. They had been told by the Government that their positive PCR results were related to Omicron infections.
In both periods, the top five Omicron Symptoms were:
- Runny nose
- Fatigue (mild or severe)
- Sore throat
The classic three symptoms of fever, cough, and loss of taste or smell were only experienced by half of the people with Delta and Omicron, respectively. It is interesting to note that loss of smell and taste has become much less common since 2021; it was one of the top 10 symptoms then, and now ranks 17th with one in five people experiencing it.
According to a small sample of data from contributors who reported positive PCR results, they had Omicron infections.
The UK government has never updated guidance on COVID symptoms beyond the classic three symptoms, which may surprise some. Over the past few months, the ZOE COVID Study helped identify over 20 mostly mild, cold-like symptoms.
In this video, Dr Claire Steves, a scientist for the ZOE COVID Study and Reader at King’s College London discusses the symptoms of Omicron.
We will be conducting more research into the symptom profile of Omicron in the coming weeks, as every report in the app is based on this information.
Why should I be concerned about Omicron if the symptoms are mild?
Omicron may feel more like a cold to many of us, but it can still hospitalize and eventually kill and leave people with long-term symptoms that disrupt their daily lives.
Microbium, on the other hand, is much more infectious than Delta, meaning it can spread much more quickly and large numbers of people will have to stay home for days, already putting a significant strain on the economy and public services in the UK.
How can I protect myself and others from Omicron?
- If you experience any of the Omicron Symptoms, get tested and isolate
- Consider staying home and reducing social interactions if you live in an area experiencing high rates of infection
- Vaccinate yourself fully (3 shots are commonly required).
- Protect your face when in crowded areas.
- Make small dietary changes to improve your immune system.