COVID-19

Scratchy or sore: how to tell if you have Omicron or Delta

Other than a PCR test and further genome sequencing, a scratchy throat could be a key sign you’re infected with the new mutant strain, The Sun reports.Doctors have found Omicron-infected patients seem to present with a scratchy throat like they’ve been yelling or singing loudly, making their voices huskier or deeper than usual before they start feeling sick.Delta-infected patients have a sore throat instead.Private health insurer Discovery Health found a scratchy throat was the most common symptom Omicron patients experience, followed by nasal congestion, a dry cough and lower back pain. NED-5052- Omicron Super VariantInfectious diseases expert Professor Peter Collignon said the differing symptoms could prove that Omicron had a lower “virulence” than Delta.“I can believe (the difference in symptoms), your throat may be more scratchy than sore, that may be a reflection of not as bad virulence or aggressiveness from the virus strain,” Professor Collignon said.“Given they are respiratory tract infections, there will be a overlap in symptoms…but as more people catch it, a wider variety of symptoms then show.”“But the only way to know what you’ve got for sure is PCR testing.”It comes as Omicron is “five times less severe” than the Delta strain, according to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, and early studies by The UK Health Security Agency have found people who catch the new strain are 70 per cent less likely to end up in hospital.Professor Collignon stood by vaccination as the best way to protect yourself from any strain of the virus.“It’s the best insurance you can get, most people who come to grief are those who aren’t vaccinated at all… the first two shots give you a 90 percent reduction in going to hospital, the third a 95 per cent reduction,” he said.A scratchy throat is just one in a list of physical symptoms which may be able to tell you which variant you’re infected with. Here’s how to tell whether you’ve caught Omicron or Delta: OMICRONScratchy throat or a hoarse, deeper voiceRunny nose/congestionHeadacheDry coughFatigueSneezingLower back painNight sweatsBody achesDELTAFeverCoughingSore throatShortness of breath.Runny nose or congestionHeadacheFatigueMuscle or joint painsNausea or loss of appetiteDiarrhoea or vomitingTemporary loss of taste or smell

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