COVID-19 cases are surging in North Texas because of the omicron variant’s aggressiveness. Unlike other variants like delta, omicron results in symptoms that are similar to those of a common cold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Mayo Clinic.
The CDC and Mayo Clinic say the most common symptoms caused by omicron include:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
According to data gathered so far about the omicron variant, loss of smell and taste are not symptoms associated with this strain, the CDC has said.
Both those symptoms are associated with early COVID-19 infections and delta variant cases.
Even though symptoms are very similar to common cold, it is important to test for omicron to avoid having more severe symptoms or winding up in a hospital, Dr. Abinash Virk, an infectious disease specialist at Mayo Clinic, said in a press release.
“It’s important to be able to tell it apart from the flu, especially for immunocompromised or elderly people, because we have flu treatments we can use. So early testing is best to be safe”, Virk said.
The CDC recommends all eligible people get vaccinated for COVID-19 and get a booster to avoid developing severe symptoms.
The CDC says that often people can show no COVID-19 symptoms, or be asymptomatic. But even if the infection causes no severe symptoms, it should be taken seriously.
Asymptomatic people may have been infected and carry the virus with them. But even if they don’t feel sick, they can transmit COVID-19 to other people, the CDC says.
The CDC recommends all people who were in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or who were exposed in crowded places to get tested even if they show no symptoms.
The CDC also says people who are fully vaccinated and who got a booster shot are more likely to be asymptomatic.
However, that is not the case for everyone.
People who tested positive for COVID-19 and are showing no symptoms are encouraged to isolate themselves because they can transmit the virus. The CDC says people should isolate themselves for five days and wear a mask for five more days after the incubation period has ended.