A noted British doctor is highlighting several symptoms that distinguish the Omicron variant from the common cold and even other strains of COVID-19 — including drenching night sweats.
Dr. Amir Khan, a physician with the UK’s National Health Service, described the distinguishing episodes as “those kind of drenching night sweats where you might have to get up and change your clothes,” the Sun reported.
The other telltale symptoms of Omicron are a scratchy throat as opposed to a sore one, a dry cough, extreme fatigue and mild muscle aches, Khan said on ITV’s “Lorraine.”
“This is important, and it’s important that we keep on top of these symptoms,” he said. “If we are going to track Omicron and track it worldwide, we need to be able to test people with these symptoms.
“If they go onto the NHS website and say they have night sweats and muscle aches, they may not be able to book a PCR test,” Khan said. “So we need the NHS website to keep up with these symptoms.”
Doctors in South Africa, where the variant was first detected in November, also have said Omicron patients are reporting night sweats that leave their clothes and bedding soaking wet.
Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, said the main symptoms of Omicron differ from the widespread Delta variant, whose sufferers generally have to deal with high fever, a new cough and a loss or change to the sense of smell or taste, the National of Scotland reported.
“So I’m back to seeing patients who have any kind of cough, fever or potential Covid symptoms like this, it’s not ideal but has to be done, we ask that all adults do a PCR test first so it’s mostly kids we see like this or home visits where it’s slightly more unpredictable,” wrote Khan, a general practitioner and university lecturer who recently shared a photo of himself on Instagram wearing full PPE, the Mirror reported.“A lot has been said in the media about GPs ‘canceling’ other appointments to make way for booster clinics,” Khan said. “Well, I have just finished my morning surgery, and seen adults and children face to face as well as on the telephone.
“If you are unwell or have any symptoms you are worried about, and yes that includes non Covid things (in fact especially those), GPs are still open — yes I know it’s hard to get an appointment but that’s because there aren’t enough GPs but we are doing our best and will do our best for you,” he said.
A new study whose findings were published last week in JAMA Network Open has found that four in 10 people infected with COVID-19 show no symptoms, but are still potential spreaders of the illness.
Researchers said this highlights the “potential transmission” of the virus unknowingly, particularly in certain settings.
“Screening for asymptomatic infection is required, especially for countries and region that have successfully controlled SARS-CoV-2,” researchers from Peking University said.
“Asymptomatic infections should be under management similar to that for confirmed infections, including isolating and contact tracing,” they said.