Londoners warned of top five Omicron symptoms
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Epidemiologist Dr Raghib Ali outlined to Londoners which common cold and flu symptoms could likely indicate an Omicron infection as the variant takes over London. Dr Ali discussed the symptoms of the Omicron virus and advised members of the public on what they can do if they feel like they have it. He suggested symptoms normally associated with the common cold such as a runny nose and sneezing are “more likely” to indicate someone is suffering from the Omicron variant.
The epidemiologist told Sky News: “We’ve got some data just today actually from the Covid Zoe app which has millions of people using it to look at the symptoms.
“And comparing those for Omicron versus Delta and also you’ll see how common they are with the cold.
“So the top five symptoms that have been found are runny nose, a headache, tiredness or fatigue.
“It can be mild or it can be severe, sneezing and a sore throat. And of course, all of us would recognise those as very typical symptoms of a cold.
“So the best guess at the moment is that if you have those symptoms in London particularly where Omicron has been leading the way in London.
“That’s where it’s most prevalent over 50% of cases naturally have those symptoms.
“It is more likely that you’ve got Covid, particularly Omicron compared to a cold.
“So if you do have those symptoms it’s really important that you do isolate yourself, take a lateral flow test and a PCR test as soon as you can.
“So book a PCR test as soon as you can to check whether you have got Covid.”
Vine panelists clash over boosters and vaccine status
The UK Government introduced Plan B restrictions this week to help stop the surge of the virus, with mandatory face masks and the reintroduction of working from home for all non-key workers included in the new measures.
NHS Covid Passes have also been introduced in England, and the pass may be asked for if you are entering large venues such as theatres, concert halls or stadiums.
Prof Azra Ghani from Imperial College said: “Given the rapid spread of the Omicron variant to date, it is now highly likely that this will replace the circulating Delta variant globally in the coming weeks.
“Emerging immunogenicity data clearly point to substantial reductions in neutralising antibodies, whilst preliminary vaccine efficacy estimates demonstrate a substantial reduction in protection from mild disease.
“Our estimates suggest that this is likely to translate into small but important reductions in efficacy against severe disease and death.
Prof Ghani added: “One remaining uncertainty is how severe the disease caused by the Omicron variant is compared to disease caused by previous variants.
“Whilst it may take several weeks to fully understand this, governments will need to put in place plans now to mitigate any potential impact.
“Our results demonstrate the importance of delivering booster doses as part of the wider public health response.
“Prioritising these boosters to high-risk populations over primary vaccination in younger age groups should be part of this response in countries where dose supply is limited.”
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