The virus that causes COVID has evolved over the past few months, affecting people who have contracted it in various ways.
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If Delta initially causes loss of smell and taste, fever and difficulty breathing, the picture is very different with the new variants of COVID, especially Omicron which hit hard during the last holiday season.
According to data collected through the Zoe Health data app, which allows users to transfer their medical data for research purposes, sore throats and a hoarse voice are the main symptoms associated with Omicron and the sub-variables of COVID.
These symptoms were not prevalent with Delta and appear to affect both vaccinated and unvaccinated people alike.
Additionally, people with Omicron are less likely to be hospitalized, and their symptoms last less, averaging 6.87 days with Omicron, compared to 8.89 days for Delta.
Other serious symptoms such as fever, headache, feeling foggy, and eye pain were less common in Omicron’s cases. However, it can still happen.
The study, which was supported by grants from the UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Care, was tested on people who had been vaccinated in the UK. They tested participants between June 1 and November 27, 2021, when the delta variant was dominant and between December 20, 2021, and January 17, 2022 when Omicron took over.
In addition to the difference in duration and types of symptoms between the two variables, the researchers said Omicron is found less frequently in the lower respiratory tract. This is where the infection can cause more severe symptoms, which can send people to the hospital.
They also found that Omicron’s symptoms were short-lived in the vaccinated people.
BA.4 and BA.5 cause loss of smell
The Omicron sub-variable that prevailed in late 2021 and early 2022 was named BA.1. Dr. Celine Gunder told CBS News that there are now subvariants of Omicron, called BA.4 and BA.5, that appear to cause loss of smell or taste again.
Although it appears that newer variants such as Omicron are more ‘moderate’, the BA.2 variant of Omicron was associated with more symptoms, and greater disturbance in daily activities than the BA variant. 1 from Omicron.
The new research should make it possible to paint a more accurate picture of the BA.4 and BA.5 variants currently prevalent in Quebec.
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