The ‘feeling’ when you wake up that’s a sign of Omicron symptoms

AS the UK remains in the grips of the super contagious Omicron variant, the odds of you catching it remain high. 

A US doctor has revealed exactly how Omicron Covid infection might feel when you wake up in the morning.

Doctor Bob Wachter revealed his 28-year-old son was hit with a nasty set of symptoms.

The chairman of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said his son “woke up and felt awful”.

He experienced cold or flu-like symptoms that most people are familiar with from previous illnesses. 

Dr Wachter’s son, who has not been named, had a sore throat, dry cough, muscle aches and chills – which he said was similar to his vaccine side-effects. 

He has had two doses of the Moderna vaccine and was described as “overweight, placing him in a moderately high-risk group”. 

Omicron can still strike people who are vaccinated, but a string of studies show it causes milder symptoms than previously.

The best protection is a booster shot. It slashes the odds of being infected by up to 75 per cent, and of hospitalisation by 80 per cent. 

Dr Wachter said his son’s throat “hurt like hell” in a Twitter thread.

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The tale is consistent with millions of people who have now experienced the super mutated coronavirus strain.

Some 60 per cent of people say they get a sore throat with Omicron, according to data collected by the ZOE Covid Symptom study.

But the most common Covid symptoms right now are a runny nose (73 per cent), headache (68 per cent), fatigue (64 per cent) and sneezing (60 per cent).

It represents a typical “cold-like illness”, study lead Prof Tim Spector, of King’s College London, said on YouTube update today.

Viewers resonated with this, with one commenting: “I was positive for 10 full days with symptoms for 7 days (sore throat, temperature, headaches, muscle aches).

“Like a nasty cold, but not as bad as flu.”

The ZOE study has also shown that for the first time this winter, “Covid symptoms [are] more common than colds and flu”, but are also “indistinguishable”, Prof Spector said.

An estimated 52.5 per cent of people experiencing new “cold-like” symptoms are likely to have Covid, rather than another respiratory bug.

Prof Spector said the team had been looking into whether back pain was a symptom specific to Omicron, after so much anecdotal evidence.

He said so far, there is no signal it is a common symptom, but that it was being reported globally as something to look out for.

The good news is that Omicron does appear to be milder, and people recover quicker.

Prof Spector said: “Our first look does suggest these symptoms are shorter duration than they are of Delta. 

“Now I can't put an exact figure on it yet. We're still doing the analysis to do that, but that's just eyeballing the data. 

“And so people are having symptoms for a shorter period of time, particularly in that first week.”

Prof Spector said this would support changing the self-isolation period from seven to five days, as seen in the US.

Ministers are today meeting with experts to discuss the move, with a decision expected soon after.

Peak “over”

Your odds of picking it up from someone you meet still remain high, given that one in 24 people have symptomatic Covid in the UK, according to ZOE.

The study also estimated this week that 183,364 people are catching symptomatic COvid every day.

But this is a decrease of 12 per cent from last week, and more evidence the “peak” is over.

Prof Spector said: “The ZOE data suggests the Omicron wave has peaked, and cases are starting to come down in almost all regions of the UK.

“Hospitalisation, deaths and early data on the severity of Omicron is also looking positive. 

“The other reassuring sign is that cases in the elderly are plateauing at a low level, sparing this more vulnerable group from the worst of the Omicron wave.

“ This is likely because this group has been more careful and others are being careful around them. 

“However, we can’t rule out an uptick in children, which could then have a knock on effect on the other age groups.

“I don’t expect these rates to go down to zero as Omicron is so infectious that it will probably continue to circulate at manageable levels in the population until late spring.”

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