Covid-19: loss of taste, fever… with Omicron, different symptoms that last less

the essential
A British study, published in the scientific journal the lancet, states that with contamination with the Omicron variant, the clinical risks are less important and the symptoms last less than with Delta. Some symptoms are also more common with this new strain of SARS-CoV-2.

New symptoms that last less with Omicron? In a study published Thursday, April 7, in the journal the lancet, UK researchers have taken a close interest in the risks of developing severe forms and conditions linked to the variant discovered more than five months ago in South Africa. The objective: to evaluate the differences in symptoms that exist between the Delta variant -prevalent for several months in France in 2021- and the Omicron variant, which gradually replaced it last December.

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In practice, the scientists at King’s College London relied on data from the British public health app called ZOE. They studied nearly 63,000 patient testimonials, all vaccinated before being contaminated with Covid-19. The find? The symptoms of people who have been infected with Omicron last for a shorter time than with a Delta infection:

  • For people who have not received no vaccination boostersymptoms were observed during 8.3 days with Omicron contamination (against 9.6 days with the Delta variant).
  • For people who have received a booster injection, 4.4 days symptoms have been observed with Omicron against 7.7 days with Delta.

changing symptoms

Beyond the symptoms that last less time in the patient, the researchers also detected a significant change in the conditions: “The Omicron variant and its subvariant BA.2 will “nest” in the upper respiratory tract while before the virus was going to affect the bronchi,” explained on March 30 general practitioner Jérôme Marty, in our columns.

Therefore, the symptoms observed today by doctors are different. In this new UK study, only 17% of patients infected with Omicron lost taste Y the smell (versus 53% with the Delta variant). Fever and persistent cough, common with Delta, were seen less frequently with Omicron. On the contrary, the throat pain they are much more common with the Omicron variant, which has a “much greater impact at the level of what is called the ‘ENT’ sphere (ears, nose, sinuses, mouth, tongue, throat),” added Dr. Marty. This study also confirms that the Omicron variant is less dangerous than Delta: the risk of hospitalizations is reduced by almost 25%.

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Since the research work was carried out several months ago, this study does not give any indication of the clinical risks associated with the BA.2 subvariant, which today accounts for more than 92% of cases of contamination in France. However, they will soon be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

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