Omicron symptoms: The 3 signs of Covid infection that aren’t the usual suspects

Omicron being called a 'mild disease' is 'incorrect' says Whitty

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For the first year and a half of the pandemic, three symptoms were drilled into our brains: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. The NHS has not yet updated these as the three main symptoms of Covid. But, the now dominant Omicron variant has totally different symptoms, it’s believed. reveals the three signs of Covid infection that aren’t the usual suspects.

There are currently 183,364 new daily symptomatic cases of Covid in the UK on average based on PCR and lateral flow test data from up to three weeks ago, according to the ZOE COVID Study incidence figures.

Daily new symptomatic cases have dropped by 12 percent since last week and seem to be going down in all age groups.

Even though we’re passing the Omicron peak, data suggests Covid is still spreading across the nation quickly, and it’s important to get tested if you’re experiencing symptoms.

But what symptoms are we supposed to be looking out for?

According to the ZOE data, only 50 percent of people are experiencing the classic three symptoms of fever, cough or loss of sense of smell or taste.

In fact, only a fifth of people with Covid experience problems with smell and taste now.

Omicron typically feels like a cold to many people, and the ZOE data estimated that 52.5 percent of people experiencing new cold-like symptoms are likely to have symptomatic COVID-19 – an increase from last week.

That being said, it can still hospitalise and kill people. THat’s why it’s so important to stay vigilant and know all of the symptoms of Covid.

The team at ZOE list the following as the current most important Covid symptoms to look for:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Persistent cough
  • Fever
  • Loss of taste and smell

The three signs of Covid infection that aren’t the usual suspects

There are a few rare symptoms that could signal Covid, so look out for these too:

Skin rash

Millions of Covid patients find rashes on their skin, fingers, toes, mouth and tongue as a result of the disease.

It’s not 100 percent clear what causes these rashes, but it could be linked to the immune response to the virus.

The ZOE app information explained: “COVID-19 rashes are usually itchy and this may lead to poor sleep.

“Some people with rashes also experience sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) light, getting red patches on their face after being outside for a short period of time.”

It might be prickly heat or chickenpox type of rash or a hive-type rash, but either way, it isn’t pleasant.


Delirium is said to be a symptom of Covid that is more common in frailer elderly people.

Both the ZOE app and King’s College London research have found that older people become increasingly confused or start acting strangely after being diagnosed with Covid.

Delirium is a common response to infections and new illnesses in older people, but it’s important not to mix up the symptoms with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

There are two types of delirium that have been seen – hyperactive delirium and hypoactive delirium.

Hyperactive delirium is where someone changes their character and could be agitated, distressed or even aggressive. This will be obvious to those caring for them because of what the person says or does.

Hypoactive delirium is the more common of the two, but it’s harder to spot.

This is when people become withdrawn, drowsy and less responsive or engaged in what’s going on around them, including needing the toilet or eating habits.

Skipping meals

One in three people with Covid lose their appetite, and skipping meals was the first spotted sign of Covid in care homes.

Patients over 35 can lose their appetite for over a week, it’s believed.

It’s rare for this symptom to occur alone. It’s highly likely to occur alongside fatigue, which was the case for more than 87 percent of adults on the ZOE app.

Around half of people with loss of appetite will also experience fever or a persistent cough, and this will also have abdominal pains and diarrhoea.

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