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Here’s how long Omicron symptoms are likely to last


The rapid spread of the Omicron variant around the world – including in the UK – has caused great concern among scientists, politicians and the general public.

On Wednesday (December 15th), a record high total of 78,610 new Covid cases – including both Omicron and Delta – were reported across the UK, exacerbating worries even further.

But with uncertainty about the severity of Omicron, a lot of people have been left wondering just what its main symptoms are – and how long they last.

READ MORE: 5 major Omicron symptoms to look out for as UK covid cases reach record level

What are the main symptoms of Omicron?

Scientists in South Africa – where the Omicron variant was first detected – have suggested that Omicron’s symptoms may present slightly differently to other coronavirus variants.

Fatigue has been named as one of its distinctive symptoms, as well as body aches, a scratchy and irritated throat, and a mild headache.

In addition, it’s been reported that patients infected by Omicron don’t lose their senses of taste and/or smell, unlike with other variants of Covid-19.

It has been suggested by South African medics that Omicron appears to cause less severe illness than Delta, though this is disputed in some quarters and will require further research.

The UK government insists it is taking no chances, and is urging people to arrange a booster jab as soon as possible.

How long do Omicron symptoms last?

According to Ryan Noach – chief executive of South African health provider Discovery Health – most patients with Omicron are recovering from it within three to four days.

It also appears that Omicron has a shorter incubation period than other coronavirus variants, and that Omicron-related illness manifests after three or four days following infection.

Noach added that hospital admissions as a result of Omicron had so far been low in South Africa, and that most of those infected with it experienced relatively mild illness.

However, the increased transmissibility of Omicron means that it likely carries a considerably higher risk of infection than other variants.

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