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An early giveaway sign you may have Omicron Covid

A medical expert has revealed one of the earliest symptoms which could help you spot if you’ve caught the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Angelique Coetzee, a South African doctor who was one of the first to detect the new strain, said a scratchy throat or hoarse voice can onset fairly early in the illness.

He said other common Omicron symptoms include fatigue, muscle aches and night sweats, reports the Daily Star.

As the new variant is thought to be milder than other strains, Omicron can often present as a cold or vague feeling of being unwell rather than coronavirus.

Although it can be easy to ignore a little sniffle, anyone who thinks they may have Covid-19 should isolate and get a test to avoid spreading it to others.

Dr Coetzee told health officials she was seeing a ‘clinical picture that doesn’t fit Delta’ back in November.

According to the NHS, currently the three main symptoms of coronavirus are a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell.

Despite this scientists say Omicron may not present this way, and people should remain vigilant if they have any symptoms at all.

Experts from the ZOE Covid-19 study said: ‘This may come as a surprise to some, as the UK government never updated guidance on Covid symptoms beyond the classic three symptoms.’

They said currently symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing and a sore throat are among the most common being recorded as part of the study.

Lower back pain, muscle aches and night sweats are other key symptoms.

Recent research into the new Omicron variant suggested it causes a less severe disease than in other strains.

Scientists in a Scotland-wide study said the variant is associated with a two-thirds reduction in the risk of hospitalisation compared with the Delta strain.

And separate research from Imperial College London indicates that people with the new strain are up to a fifth less likely to need admission to hospital.

Those who do end up in hospital are 40 to 45% less likely to require a stay of one night or more, according to the research.

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