Omicron became the dominant variant of Covid in the UK in November 2021, having first been detected in southern Africa and Hong Kong a month earlier. Recent research could help you determine the difference between Omicron and a cold, according to a report in the Independent.

Research from Norway looked at how Omicron affects the fully vaccinated. The study interviewed 111 of 117 guests from a party on 26 November 2021 where there was an Omicron outbreak, with 89 per cent of the participants having had two Covid jabs.

Of those interviewed, 66 had definite cases of Covid-19 as well as 15 possible cases. Findings published in infectious disease and epidemiology journal Eurosurveillance stated that there were eight key symptoms experienced by the group of fully vaccinated partygoers.

These were cough, runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, fever and sneezing. Of those, coughing, fatigue and a runny nose were the most common among vaccinated individuals, with a fever and sneezing least reported.

Public health experts also add nausea to this list of symptoms in vaccinated people who have contracted the Omicron variant. While being vaccinated protects against the more serious risks of the virus, it is still possible to contract Covid even if you have had both jabs and a booster shot.

Being vaccinated also means symptoms are likely to be more mild, making distinguishing them from a common cold difficult. Professor Tim Spector from the ZOE Symptom Study App says around 50 per cent of “‘new colds currently are, in fact, Covid”.

Experts have also found that there are two symptoms that could act as an early warning sign of Omicron – fatigue and dizziness/fainting. Dr Angelique Coetzee, a private practitioner and chair of the South African Medical Association, told Good Morning Britain that fatigue was one of the main symptoms of Omicron when the variant broke out in South Africa.

A Web MD poll found that 40 per cent of women reported they struggled with fatigue due to Covid compared to a third of men.

A link between fainting spells and Omicron was suggested by a new report from Germany. German newspaper Ärztezeitung said that the doctors could see a “clear connection” between the infection and the fainting spells.

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