Notably, 48 crore reports sent through the study’s app showed that as the virus has evolved, so have its symptoms.
Tim Spector (London):
For nearly two years, millions of members of the public have been sending their daily health reports to the Joe COVID Study, which helps us learn more about the pandemic as it progresses. Notably, 48 crore reports sent through the study’s app showed that as the virus has evolved, so have its symptoms. In 2020, it became clear that the original and alpha versions of the coronavirus have three very common symptoms – cough, fever and loss of smell – as well as at least 20 other symptoms. These included fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, muscle pain and gastrointestinal problems, as well as more unusual events such as skin rashes and “Covid tongue”. When the delta appeared, we saw a change in the most commonly reported symptoms.
The earlier common symptoms such as shortness of breath, fever and loss of smell were left behind. Cold-like symptoms – including runny nose, sore throat and persistent sneezing – became more common with headache and cough, especially in people who had been vaccinated. It appears that Omicron is continuing the trend set by Delta. It is causing symptoms that are like a regular cold, especially in people who have been vaccinated, and less common systemic symptoms, such as nausea, muscle pain, diarrhea and skin rash. We looked at health reports from people who reported having COVID in December as Omicron spread to the UK, and compared them with data from early October, when Delta was the dominant version. We then checked our findings from this comparison by analyzing data from a small group of contributors who were told by the government that their positive PCR results were suspected or confirmed Omicron infections.
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Our analysis showed no significant differences in the overall symptom profiles of Delta and Omicron, with runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing and sore throat among the top five symptoms in both time periods. But when it comes to the overall prevalence of symptoms, there are some clear differences. For example, anosmia (loss of smell or taste) was in the top ten in October, but has dropped to number 17. What was once a leading indicator of covid, is now seen only in about one in five people who test positive. And according to our statistics, less than a third of people (29 percent) will ever experience a fever, which is much less common than it used to be.
Importantly, we found that only half of people with COVID had any of the classic three symptoms of fever, cough or loss of smell, suggesting that the government’s guidance for PCR testing (which states that if you have If you have any one of these symptoms then you should get tested) is now out of date.
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How bad is Omicron?
This new variant is much more contagious than the previous variant, causing a surge in cases across the UK and other countries, and although it is not yet clear we are facing a massive wave of hospitalizations from the disease Of course, it’s important to remember that Omicron and Delta can feel like a cold to many of us, yet it can kill or cause long-term symptoms. Disrupts daily life, especially for those who have not been vaccinated or who have not been vaccinated.
Till now, we have seen most of the cases in younger people, but now we are seeing increasing cases even in old age, while the overall infection rate is so high. The recent increase in positive cases in the over 75s is worrying, but we expect high levels of vaccination among older and more vulnerable groups in the UK to continue with mild symptoms and few hospitalizations. The major problem with Omicron is the high wave of illness absenteeism among key healthcare workers.
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Is it Omicron or is it winter?
As winter heats up in the UK, there have been some very bad winters, as well as the perennial flu. The Joe Kovid Study App data tells us that the symptoms caused by the current COVID variant are similar to those of the common cold. This means that it is not possible to know for sure what you have based on symptoms alone. When COVID rates are high, a sore throat, runny nose or unusual tiredness should be considered COVID until you are tested.
So if you or a family member is feeling unwell, it may be COVID, especially if you are sneezing a lot and have a stuffy nose. You should stay at home and get tested to be sure. Finally, regardless of government guidelines, whether you have COVID or not, it’s best to stay home to avoid contact with other people if you’re feeling sick with strange or cold-like symptoms. . And if you go out, wear a mask. Avoid spreading your germs to others who may be more susceptible.