Difference Between Symptoms of the Omicron Variant and Common Cold

Omicron is spreading fast and its symptoms include infection include sore throat, cold, sneezing, body pain, fever and fatigue. One good thing about the Omicron variant is that, till now it has lower hospital admissions than variants like the Delta. But experts think there are two major concerns. First is the possibility that older and vulnerable people may get more severe forms of Covid. And second is the possibility of ‘Long Covid’. 

Omicron spreading fast

According to doctors, it would be wrong to take the Omicron variant lightly as it can cause serious ramifications later. Recently, Maria DeJoseph Van Kerkhove, head of The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covid research team, told the media that uncontrolled Omicron infection is not a good sign. It must be controlled at all costs.

But how to control Omicron? According to Ms Kerkhove, in order to do that, we need to understand why the Omicron variant is spreading so much. According to her, there are three reasons behind this. Let’s see what they are:

  1. Covid has undergone a lot of mutations. The new form can more easily enter nasal passages and transmit from person to person.
  2. Omicron has got what is called ‘Immune Escape’ in the language of medicine. This means, this corona variant can now easily bypass the body’s immune system. Even if one is recently infected with Covid, Omicron can evade the antibodies in the body of that individual. It may evade antibodies of vaccinated individuals as well.
  3. It has affiliation to the upper respiratory tract. Other forms of corona mostly affected lower respiratory. As a result, Omicron takes much less time to reach from one person to another than other variants.

Moreover, the fact that it is winter in the northern hemisphere means the amount of time spent inside the house has increased. This in turn increased the rate of infection. Also, since it’s winter, the flu virus is also on the rise. Hence, it is important to understand the difference between common cold, flu, and Covid. Doctors are warning us to look closely for the signs or symptoms to understand the differences between these three.

Also read: Omicron: All You Need to Know About this New Coronavirus Variant

Differences in Symptoms

It is a fact that there is very little difference between the symptoms of a common cold and Omicron. Due to the similarity between common cold and Omicron, many are not realizing that they have been infected with the latter. As a result they are not doing the Covid test and are not isolating themselves as well. The direct impact of this behaviour is that Omicron is spreading like wildfire. Although, only a Covid test can help you understand the true nature of your infection, the following chart will give you some idea –

 SymptomsOmicronFluCommon Cold
Dry CoughYesYesAt times
Blocked noseAt timesAt timesYes
Throat acheAt timesAt timesYes
Breathing troubleAt timesNot usuallyNot seen before
HeadacheYesYesNot seen before
Body acheyesYesYes
SneezingYesNot seen beforeYes
FatigueYesYesAt times
NauseaYesNot seen beforeNot seen before
Stomach disorderRareAt timesNot seen before

If you see any of the above symptoms, you should get tested immediately and/or go for home isolation. However, to begin with, it is important to consult a doctor, preferably a general physician, who will guide you about the necessary steps. Highly experienced general physicians are available for online consultation on DocGenie. If you are infected with Omicron, you can book a session with one of our doctors for quality medical care and guidance.

With the massive rate of infection around it is better to stay safe at home. Today, you can access quality medical care from the comfort of your home by means of online consultation. If you are worried that you or any of your family members have contracted the infection, book an online session with a general physician on DocGenie to clear your doubts and get authentic medical advice.

Also read: Beneficial Ways to Boost Your Immunity against COVID-19

DocGenie is an online telemedicine platform that provides you with quality healthcare from the comfort of your own space. On DocGenie, you can book an online consultation with highly qualified doctors as well as book lab tests for home collection.