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What Are the Omicron New Variant Symptoms You Should Watch Out For?

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Jan 15, 2023

    What Are the Omicron New Variant Symptoms You Should Watch Out For?

    Just as COVID-19 infection rates have been dropping in the holidays, the pandemic gives us another reason to worry with a new variant that may be resistant to vaccine protection. With cases of Omicron increasing in many parts of the world, how do the new variant symptoms differ from the other strains we know so far?

    What Is Omicron?

    The sudden emergence of Omicron caught people off guard as quarantine restrictions were slowly easing. 

    Last November 24, 2021, a novel variety of SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.529, was reported to the World Health Organization. It was later identified through the name Omicron, which is regarded as a variant of concern alongside the Delta variant. 

    There is some evidence that the Omicron variant has some of the following characteristics:

    • Increased transmissibility
    • Reduction in neutralization by some EUA monoclonal antibody treatments
    • Potential reduction in neutralization by post-vaccination sera

    Researchers are still on the lookout for the actual severity of Omicron. But they anticipate it to spread more quickly than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with this particular kind of coronavirus can infect and transfer it to other people. This is regardless of whether they are vaccinated or have no new variant symptoms at all.  

    What Are the New Variant Symptoms? How Does It Compare to Other Strains?

    While people know COVID-19 symptoms to include a persistent cough, high body temperature, and a loss of taste and smell, the new variant symptoms may display differently. 

    According to Dr. Angelique Coetzee, a private practitioner and chair of the South African Medical Association, there are no reported cases with a loss of taste or smell from the patients. 

    Doctors from South Africa revealed the new variant symptoms to be mostly about what people usually experience — fatigue, body aches, and headache. Thus, the possibility of missing out on it is quite likely, as these are common flu-like symptoms.


    Omicron, which is believed to be more transmissible than Delta, has been associated with exhaustion and fatigue. There is linkage to this symptom and other prior strains, which can continue for weeks following the onset of infection.

    However, it remains unclear how long the fatigue will take place in a person’s body once they have tested positive for COVID-19. 

    Body Aches and Pains

    Patients infected with Omicron have reported having body aches and pains, similar to those who had the original coronavirus strain. With other versions, this discomfort usually only lasts for a few days.


    As typical in viral and infectious diseases, the Omicron variant also manifests symptoms of headache. 

    Scratchy Throat

    In addition to the three prominent symptoms, Dr. Coetzee shared that patients also complain about experiencing a scratchy throat. However, it is slightly different from previous strains since there is no prominent cough, implying “very mild symptoms.”

    Runny Nose

    People may tend to overlook runny nose as a common symptom of flu, but there is also a link to it for the new variant infection. 


    Patients who have tested positive for Omicron showed signs of sneezing, the same way with a runny nose. 

    Key Takeaways

    In general, you should not discount the possibility of infection by the new variant of COVID-19 should you show these relatively milder symptoms. 
    Isolate yourself at home if you begin to show any of the symptoms mentioned above. It is also best not to jump to conclusions. So consult your MD and take that PCR test to be sure, and keep yourself and your family safe.

    Learn more about health news here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


    Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Jan 15, 2023

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