Eight ‘new’ Omicron Covid symptoms to look out for – including back pain

Lena Weib

Omicron makes up nearly 90% of Covid cases in the capital.

The more infectious variant has over 30 mutations, differentiating it from the variant that was first detected in Wuhan, China, back in early 2020.

With concern over Omicron ramping up as Christmas approaches, it’s helpful to be aware of any new symptoms of the variant.

Read more:Why unvaccinated Londoners are yet to get first jab

Being aware of what a newly scratchy throat or headache could mean has the potential to throw Christmas plans into disarray, but gives you the ability to keep your loved ones safe if you suspect you’re infected.

Latest analysis from ZOE Covid symptom study showed only half of people who were currently suffering from Covid were experiencing the original three symptoms listed on NHS guidance – a fever, a cough or a loss of taste or smell.

Eight symptoms have been identified as being telltale signs you might have picked up the variant:

  • scratchy throat
  • runny nose
  • fatigue
  • sneezing
  • lower back pain
  • headache
  • night sweats
  • muscle aches

If you suspect you have symptoms, you should get a PCR test and isolate until you get your result.

If positive, you should isolate from the 10 days since your symptoms began.

People infected with coronavirus can now take two lateral flow tests to reduce the self-isolation period from 10 to seven days, it was announced today (22 December 2021).



Studies have also demonstrated that lateral flow device (LFD) tests are just as sensitive at detecting the Omicron variant as they are for Delta.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said those infected with the virus can take two lateral flow tests 24 hours apart on day six and seven of their isolation period, which if negative means they can stop quarantining.

The UKHSA said people who leave self-isolation on day seven are strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, and to continue working from home.

KHSA chief executive Dr Jenny Harries said anyone with coronavirus symptoms should still get a PCR test as soon as possible.

She said: “Covid-19 is spreading quickly among the population and the pace at which Omicron is transmitting may pose a risk to running our critical public services during winter.

“This new guidance will help break chains of transmission and minimise the impact on lives and livelihoods.

“It is crucial that people carry out their LFD tests as the new guidance states and continue to follow public health advice.”

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