Omicron BA.5: The ‘predominant’ symptom seen in 63% of patients

Omicron sub-variant discussed by infectious disease expert

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Speaking on Zoe’s YouTube channel, Professor Tim Spector shared the “latest” Covid symptoms to spot. While certain signs like altered smell seem to be less “frequent”, others are on the rise.

Without free testing, it might be difficult to nail down what’s troubling you this autumn.

From runny nose to headaches, the original Omicron has shown that certain symptoms overlap with the likes of flu and colds.

However, staying on top of the most common Covid signs could help identify the culprit.

Professor Spector shared the prevalent sign that is linked to the Omicron BA.5 strain – sore throat.

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He said: “[Symptoms] seem to have changed a little bit now that Omicron BA.5 is really dominant in the UK.

“Sore throat is still the predominant symptom here, followed by headache.”

In fact, this scratchy sign was seen across 63 percent of the Zoe Covid app users.

The research app helps the professor and his colleagues obtain data from Covid-positive patients, identifying the dominant signs.

How to spot Covid sore throat?

Sore throat is considered to be an “early” symptom of coronavirus, according to Zoe.

The research app adds: “It feels worse on the first day of infection but gets better on each following day.”

Characterised by a “scratchy” or irritated sensation, this type of sore throat will feel similar to a cold.

When it comes to its intensity, Covid sore throat tends to be mild and last no longer than five days.

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See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest

If you are experiencing a very painful sore throat, it might be signalling something else like a bacterial infection.

Zoe also adds that if a sore throat persists beyond five days, it’s “unlikely” to be COVID-19.

According to the NHS, other Covid symptoms include:

  • High temperature or shivering (chills) 
  • New, continuous cough 
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • Aching body
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick or being sick.

Professor Spector added: “It’s looking like it’s causing fewer symptoms and maybe milder in most people. 

“Of course, there are exceptions and some people are still getting very severe disease.

“It’s possible that BA.5 causes symptoms with a lower amount of virus and that could explain the slightly milder symptoms.”

Fortunately, Covid cases in the UK continue to fall week-on-week, based on figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Around one in 60 people were estimated to suffer from Covid in England, and one in 65 in Wales in the week ending on August 23, while one in 50 was believed to have the virus in Northern Ireland and one in 55 in Scotland.


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