Since Omicron differs from other COVID variations in how it travels, one of the most concerning aspects is that people infected with it exhibit a wide range of symptoms that are distinct from one another. While many people are reporting minor cold-like symptoms, some are reporting more serious problems. Symptoms and their causes are explained by the World Health Organization (WHO) and investigations undertaken by other organisations.
WHO’s top infectious disease expert Dr Maria Van Kerkhove has said that people who are infected with Omicron can have a range of symptoms. They can also have no symptoms at all, and be completely asymptomatic. Some even can develop severe diseases and people are also dying from Omicron.
“On average, we know that there is lesser risk of needing hospitalisation if you are infected with Omicron compared to Delta, but that does not mean that it is a mild disease,” he added during a Live Q&A session on COVID-19 and Omicron sub-variant BA.2 with Dr Abdi Mahamud on 8 February 2022.
During another discussion on the effects of Omicron and why it should not be taken lightly, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove said the more concerning thing with the Omicron-led wave has been that deaths are increasing for 5th week in a row. “Half a people, that we know of, have died (due to Covid,” he said, adding that deaths must be more than that cause the global health bodies don’t have adequate reporting systems around the world.
Most Omicron patients are reporting cold-like symptoms such as a sore throat, severe body pain, fatigue, severe headache, a study by UK-based tracker Zoe COVID app.
The ZOE COVID Study app is a not-for-profit initiative that was launched at the end of March 2020 to support vital COVID-19 research. The app was launched by health science company ZOE with scientific analysis provided by King’s College London.
“It’s not necessarily true to say the symptoms caused by Omicron are more mild than with previous variants. The majority of the UK population is now double or triple vaccinated, as are most of the contributors to the ZOE app, which has a strongly protective effect against severe illness and hospitalisation,” said the company.