Omicron variant: Doctor warns of risk of reinfection
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The World Health Organisation says there is not currently any evidence to support the suggestions the symptoms of the new Omicron strain differ from those of the previous strains.
Large symptom logs, such as those of the ZOE Covid study are currently the best source for finding out if your symptoms are a match for the virus.
These include a runny nose, loss of smell or sore throat alongside a fever, cough and headache.
ZOE advises that if you develop these symptoms you should stay home from work and get a test, even if you vaccinated.
Some symptoms have been reported that do not match those recorded from the previous variant.
Dr Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association described a number of patients who reported severe fatigue and mild muscle pain.
These symptoms guided the decision to investigate the cases as a new potential variant of the Coronavirus.
The WHO reported that South African cases saw a more than 300 percent jump in the final week of November compared to the week before.
The mutations on the Omicron variant have been linked to an increase in transmissibility.
Changes to the spike protein have been associated with an ability to evade the immune system.
It is not currently known the extent to which it is able to bypass vaccination.
The UK is currently working to administer booster vaccinations, which have been linked to an increase in immunity.
The most common way the virus spreads is through the air, as sneezing and coughing eject droplets containing the virus.
You can minimise this risk by covering your mouth and sanitising your hands before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Wearing masks is currently mandatory when using public transport or inside of shops.
International arrivals are expected to take a PCR test and isolate until they can provide a negative result.
Certain risk factors have been linked to more severe symptoms when infected with Covid.
Underlying health conditions that increase your vulnerability include diabetes, hypertension, chronic respiratory and circulatory diseases.
Elderly populations have been identified as having a higher risk of dying due to Covid.
There is some evidence that that sex increases your risk of developing severe symptoms, with men categorised as an at risk group by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Health authorities are currently advising that the Omicron strain results in mild symptoms.
the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on Friday had catalogued a total of 109 cases across 16 countries, with no reports of death.
The medical consensus appears to be that symptoms are mild, but can occur in vaccinated people.
Research is still underway into how the Omicron variant developed its range of mutations and what all of them mean.
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