May 14, 2022 3:01 pm

How to distinguish the symptoms of omicron from a flu or a common cold

In the midst of the third wave of Covid, ómicron registered an exponential growth in cases in Argentina and in the world due to its high level of contagion. Unlike previous strains of coronavirus, this variant usually has some symptoms that are confused with those of the common cold or the flu.

Gabriela Nadia Ensinck, secretary of the National Committee of Infectious Diseases of the Argentine Society of Pediatrics (SAP), told THE NATION that Covid, with respect to cold and flu, is usually “complicated to differentiate, especially in the milder versions, because they share many symptoms”.

Among the signs that coincide the three diseases are: congestion and sore throat. However, the intensity with which the symptoms manifest themselves changes. With Covid, it is more common for the patient to have a fever, by far headache, muscle aches, and a loss of taste and smell.

Unlike the other variants of Covid, Ómicron does not usually present a lack of smell or taste as a symptom

The way the symptoms appear also often changes. with omicron, the signs appear more gradually than in the cold, where the symptoms appear more suddenly, in a few hours.

However, according to Ensink infectology, it should be noted that while the delta variant “presents symptoms closer to a flu picture”, since it affects the “lower breathing zone”, such as the lungs, in the case of omicron “usually resembles that of a cold” since it affects the “upper area”, that is, the throat, the area of ​​the nose with nasal congestion, cough and dysphonia.

According to the specialist, this difference also causes those infected with ómicron present fewer cases of hospitalization with respirators, and that the contagion capacity in turn increases, since the virus can more easily leave the body.

Symptoms of common colds

colds they usually arise when a virus infection occurs in the respiratory system, in the same way that the coronavirus does. According to the National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT), the cold “It is a very common infectious disease that affects the upper airways.” And he adds that “the first symptoms begin two or three days later of having had contact with an infectious source.

The most common symptoms are the following:

in colds it is rare to present a picture with fever, contrary to what happens when you contract the flu or coronavirus in any of its variants.

flu symptoms

As ANMAT explains, Influenza “is a highly contagious respiratory viral disease”. The recovery period is usually from “one or two weeks without the need for medical treatment.”

The most frequent symptoms are:

The cough can be very intense and last more than two weeks while the rest of the symptoms usually disappear in most cases in just one weekwithout the need for medical attention.

Symptoms of omicron

The omicron variant causes milder disease than previous strains of Covid. However, according to Ensink “it depends on each person’s case” since other variables, such as age and comorbidities, can affect it. The symptoms are not usually very different from the other strains, although in general those infected do not lose taste or smell.

The most frequent symptoms are:

Unlike the cold or the flu, the Omicron variant presents symptoms gradually.
Unlike the cold or the flu, the Omicron variant presents symptoms gradually.Ignatius Sanchez

What to do if I have symptoms

Infectologist Ensink recommends that If these symptoms appear and you have been with people who have tested positive, “you do not need to go to test, and you can notify the system of epidemiological surveillance. Conversely, if it does not have “epidemiological link with other positives”, that is, you do not know where you got it from, you have comorbidities (such as diabetics, immunocompromised, heart or lung problems, among others) or you are pregnant needs to be tested to confirm the diagnosis.

In Argentina they reported yesterday 128,321 new cases and 208 deaths, thus adding almost a million and a half infected in the last 15 days.

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