Cough and scratchy throat among very first Omicron signs experienced by majority

With Covid cases at a record high and increasing fears of more restrictions due to Omicron in the UK, people are being urged to keep an eye out for specific symptoms.

According to experts, Omicron symptoms are different to those of the "traditional" variants, and are more similar to a common cold.

It has also been revealed that 89% of those infected with the Omicron coronavirus variant show the same "initial" sign.

These early signs, according to the American Center for Disease Conotrol and Prevention, include a dry cough and a "scratchy throat", with some others also reporting fatigue, congestion, sneezing or a runny nose.

Though the symptoms of the Omicron variant have mostly been found to be mild, there are fears that it is more transmissible and whether it can evade vaccine immunity.

What are the main symptoms of Covid?

According to the NHS, the most common symptoms of Covid are a high temperature, a new and continuous cough or a loss/change in sense of taste or smell.

But, more research into Omicron has revealed that super mutant variant shows different symptoms than we are used to with previous variants like Delta.

Besides, being more similar to a common cold, Omicron symptoms have also been described as being far more mild by South African doctor Angelique Coetzee.

However, Dr Coetzee, who was the first person to raise an alarm over Omicron, which originated in southern Africa, has warned that some symptoms may be felt more intensely.

She said that some patients infected with Omicron – especially those who are unvaccinated – seem to suffer from intense headache and sore muscles (myalgia).

What to do if you think you have Covid?

If you believe you have Covid, the NHS says that you should get a test and then self-isolate for at least 10 days if its positive.

Guidance from suggests that the first thing to do if you find yourself having Covid symptoms is stay at home, then arrange to get a PCR test done as soon as possible.

If its positive, then continue to self-isolate. You can get the PCR tests booked through the NHS.

If you've been exposed to the virus but are fully vaccinated, you're advised to take daily lateral flow tests for seven days even if you show no symptoms.

You can get these tests at a pharmacy or at community sites as well as some schools and colleges. Previously, you could order them through the NHS online service, but that has been suspended due to "exceptionally high demand."

The daily test rule doesn't apply to those who are unvaccinated, and they are required to self-isolate for 10 days if they've come into contact with anyone who has tested positive instead.

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