THE PALM BEACH POST – Sneezing? Feeling congested? Coughing?
Are these signs of flu season, a cold or allergies, or are they symptoms of COVID-19’s rapidly spreading omicron variant? (Or delta, delta’s still out there…)
Without testing, it is difficult to determine whether the congestion is more than the flu, but either way, don’t panic, say medical experts, just take proper precautions.
“If you feel sick, don’t diagnose yourself,” said Dr. Deborah German, Vice-President for Health Affairs and Dean, University of Central Florida College of Medicine.
“Call your healthcare provider – don’t just show up to the clinic. Your provider can determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19 and what treatments you need.”
We’re still learning about the omicron variant, although early reports from South Africa suggest that this new variant of coronavirus may be much more contagious but less harmful than previous variants. This isn’t known for certain yet; experts warn that definitive data won’t be available for weeks.
“It appears that with the cases that are seen, we’re not seeing a very severe profile of disease,’’ said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser.
“In fact, it might be – and I underscore might – be less severe, as shown by the ratio of hospitalizations per number of new cases.’’
But how do you tell if you have it? For the average person, there may be no way to differentiate between the omicron variant and any other SARS-CoV-2 strains without tests.
What are the symptoms for the omicron variant of COVID?
The World Health Organization (WHO) says there’s no evidence to suggest omicron’s symptoms are different than any other COVID-19 variants.
According to the CDC, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Diarrhea … read more.