The new Covid variant is spreading rapidly across the UK and there are expectations stricter measures will soon be imposed in a bid to control the virus
With concern over Omicron ramping up as Christmas approaches, it’s helpful to be aware of any new telltale symptoms of the new variant.
The new Covid variant is spreading rapidly across the UK and there are expectations stricter measures will soon be imposed in a bid to control the virus.
The UK’s Omicron death toll has now risen to 12, with an additional 104 patients in hospital being treated for the mutant virus – although there are fears the number could soon dramatically increase.
Being aware of which a newly scratchy throat or headache could mean, has the potential to throw Christmas plans into disarray.
However, it also gives you the ability to keep your loved ones safe.
Eight symptoms have been identified as being telltale signs you might have picked up the variant: a scratchy throat, runny nose, fatigue, sneezing, lower back pain, headache, night sweats and muscle aches.
Professor Tim Spector, who leads the ZOE Covid App Symptom study, was hopeful people now recognised the cold-like symptoms that appeared to be the predominant feature of Omicron.
Latest analysis from the study showed only half of people who were currently suffering from Covid were experiencing the original three symptoms listed on NHS guidance – a fever, a cough or a loss of taste or smell.
Over the weekend Professor Spector expressed his frustration that the NHS had not yet updated its guidance on widely-spread informational posters.
Their latest analysis suggested only 50 per cent of the people currently suffering with Covid are experiencing the original symptoms.
News of the symptoms you should look out for, comes as the virus is running rampant in the country, with 91,743 new cases in the UK on Monday, December 20.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed 8,044 additional cases of the Omicron variant, bringing the total cases of the variant in the UK to 45,145.
Early data suggests a booster shot is the best protection against Omicron, and that the third jab can push efficacy back up to 75 per cent.
A study published earlier this week revealed three of the major coronavirus vaccines give ‘significantly less’ protection against the Omicron variant.
But researchers say that with a dose of a booster vaccine that third shot would likely ‘restore most of the protection.’
The study, published on Tuesday, was carried out by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard and MIT.
Scientists tested blood from people who had received the Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines against a pseudo virus engineered to resemble the Omicron variant.
The researchers found “low to absent” antibody neutralization of the variant from the regular regimens of all three vaccines.
This came from two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines or a single dose of J&J’s vaccine.
But the blood from recent recipients of an additional booster dose exhibited ‘potent neutralization’ of the variant, the study found.
The NHS today announced that some 25,130,453 people, more than a third of eligible adults in England, have received their booster vaccine.
It comes as Boris Johnson has kept further coronavirus measures on the table for after Christmas, but ruled them out before the day itself.
In an address this evening the Prime Minister said the rules would not change ahead of the big day, but that further measures after Christmas can’t be ruled out.
He spoke an hour after the third highest number of daily coronavirus cases were recorded in the UK.
The figures are being fuelled by the Omicron variant, which is now widely spread across the country and moving fast.
Brits are being encouraged to “change or delay” their Christmas plans as cases continue to soar.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.