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The omicron “prefers” the upper respiratory tract
As doctors note, the symptoms we have after being infected with omicron are slightly different than in the case of infection with previous variants of the coronavirus.
“ The key thing is that earlier variants such as alpha and delta that dominated until December 2021 seemed to attack the lungs more, ” said Dr. Robert Goldszer, chief physician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Florida, in an interview with WSVN 7 News (Miami, USA).
On the other hand, patients who go to hospitals recently have milder symptoms of COVID-19 than those who suffer from previous years. However, it is still a serious infection and should not be taken lightly. What symptoms are patients most often complaining of now?
People infected with omicron most often no longer lose their sense of smell and taste, which previously seemed to be one of the key symptoms of COVID-19. They have symptoms that resemble the flu or a cold. Therefore, these diseases are easy to confuse now. So it’s important to pay attention to a few key symptoms.
COVID-19 is associated with high fever, persistent cough and shortness of breath, but omicron changed that. Now, a sign of COVID-19 infection may be a severe headache (less frequent with colds or flu), muscle aches, especially back pain, runny nose, sneezing, throat irritation (sore or scratchy throat), fatigue and night sweats are also reported. Problems with the digestive system are also mentioned more and more often.
Symptoms of omicron in vaccinated people
COVID-19 vaccines protect us from severe disease and death, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get infected. However, so-called breakthrough infections are much milder. There seem to be two symptoms of omicron that are currently reported primarily by the vaccinated person. In addition to a mild temperature, sore throat and headache, those infected complain of vomiting and other gastrointestinal problems, as well as loss of appetite. However, these are not completely new symptoms of coronavirus infection, they have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic.
Remember that many symptoms of COVID-19 differ depending on whether the person has received the vaccine or not. Vaccinated people who become infected with delta or the original coronavirus tend to experience headache or sinus pain. In contrast, unvaccinated COVID-19 patients have shortness of breath and cough, as well as flu-like symptoms.
People with omicron may report symptoms such as nausea more often, as loss of smell is less common with this new variant. So they pay more attention to milder symptoms like nausea and dizziness as they don’t focus on a sudden loss of smell
Andrew Pekosz, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health told The New York Times.
However, making a diagnosis yourself is not recommended. If we have concerns that he has contracted COVID-19, we must take a molecular test using nucleic acid amplification (NAAT), which will dispel the doubts. Rapid tests (also known as pharmacy tests) are not enough to confirm whether or not we have been infected, they are only a clue.
Sources: The New York Times, cdc.gov