Omicron symptoms: Researchers want to ‘raise awareness’ of nausea and vomiting
Scientists point out that the coronavirus pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), predominately causes respiratory symptoms, but it can also lead to gastrointestinal issues. As an international health emergency, researchers around the world have been collecting data on the transmissible disease. In this case, the research team – based at Tongji Hospital, China – noted that nausea and vomiting can be “the first clinical manifestation” of a Covid infection.
It is believed the gastrointestinal tract is “attacked” by the potentially deadly virus.
“Its host receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which acts as a gateway to infection, has been found to be highly expressed in the gastrointestinal epithelium and may lead to the development of nausea/vomiting,” the study read.
The scientists hope to “raise awareness of these symptoms” that may otherwise be overlooked as something else, such as food poisoning.
How is the overall picture looking in the UK right now?
Thanks to the success of the Covid booster campaign, the number of Covid patients admitted to hospital is now on the decrease.
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The number of people testing positive for Covid is also on a major downturn, but this must be read with caution as the number of people testing has also gone down.
Data collected from the Covid Symptom Study suggests the five most commonly reported Omicron symptoms are:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added other possible symptoms of Omciron. These include:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, although reports suggest that Omicron is more mild than the previously most transmissible variant, Delta.
Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor at UK Health Security Agency, commented on the latest Omicron briefing.
“This latest set of analysis once again demonstrates that a booster dose of the vaccine provides you with significant protection against hospitalisation from Omicron.
“Booster doses also increase the protection against symptomatic and asymptomatic infection which will reduce transmission in the population.
“While signs remain encouraging on Omicron’s severity compared with Delta, the high levels of community transmission continue and may cause pressures on health services.”
Omicron currently poses “very low health risk to children and infants”, and for little ones who are hospitalised, they are generally discharged after a short stay.
“Getting your booster jab remains the most effective way of protecting yourself and others from infection and severe disease,” added Hopkins.
The Chief Medical Advisor also recommends wearing face masks in indoor settings and to take lateral flow tests before meeting others.
“If you develop any symptoms, isolate immediately and get a PCR test,” Hopkins said.