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There are eight symptoms that are telltale signs that patients might have caught the spreading Omicron variant of coronavirus.
The symptoms of different strains and variants have been different at various times since the pandemic began almost two years ago.
The man behind the ZOE Covid App Symptom study has now clarified what to look for if you're worried about having the new strain, the Mirror reports.
Professor Tim Spector, who leads the ZOE study, was confident that cold-like symptoms appeared to be the “predominant” feature of Omicron.
Splitting that down into eight separate symptoms, potential sufferers need to look out for a scratchy throat, runny nose, fatigue, sneezing, lower back pain, headache, night sweats and muscle aches.
These symptoms are a far cry from the original Covid-19 strain that took over the world nearly two years ago, The Mirror reports.
According to the NHS website, symptoms of the original and delta strains include a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, meaning patients have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
Professor Spector told Sky News: “Broadly what we're seeing now is the majority of people testing PCR positive actually have cold-like symptoms and they do not have the classical triad of Covid symptoms of fever, loss of smell and taste and persistent cough.
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“So it's slowly emerged into a more symptomatic milder condition that looks just like a severe cold to many people.
“People should not wait for a loss of taste, a temperature and a cough before questioning whether they may have the virus.
"More than 50% of people are presenting, and never getting those other symptoms, and yet they are testing PCR positive.”
The UK Government announced that the isolation time has been cut to just seven days, from 10, as long as a negative test result emerges on day seven.
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According to the official ZOE study – which gains data from more than 750,000 weekly contributors to an app – the number of daily new cases among 0-18 year-olds remains high, while cases in the 19-35s are rapidly rising.
The 36-55 age group continue to rise more steadily, while cases in the 55-75 age group are dropping.
It also found that cases remain low in the over 75s, likely due to third dose vaccines but also a change in behaviour such as face mask wearing and avoiding large social gathering which we expect is being driven by fear of Omicron.
Professor Spector added: "Omicron is set to be the dominant strain in the UK by Christmas, and in the New Year cases could hit a peak higher than anything we’ve ever seen before.
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"In London cases have been rising rapidly, but this will likely slow down soon, as people change their behaviour, such as wearing face masks again, cancelling parties and working from home more.
"Hopefully people now recognise the cold-like symptoms which appear to be the predominant feature of Omicron. These are the changes that will slow the spread of the virus.
"It’s my hope that the rest of the country is doing the same to avoid big outbreaks outside of London, especially in big cities."
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