The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been rapidly spreading around the world. According to the World Health Organization, the variant has been detected in 77 countries and is spreading faster than any other strain (WHO). 

Scientists from all across the world are collaborating to better understand Omicron’s behaviour, which is thought to be highly resistant to existing vaccines. So far, the findings reveal that this novel strain generates less severe COVID-19 symptoms than earlier viral strains. 

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Those infected with Omicron, however, share one symptom: a scratchy throat. 

At a recent press conference, the CEO of Discovery Health, based in South Africa, stated that doctors have seen a somewhat different set of symptoms among those who have tested positive. 

According to CEO Dr. Ryan Noach, the most prevalent early indicator was a scratchy throat, which was followed by nasal congestion, a dry cough, and myalgia in the form of lower back pain.

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The majority of these symptoms are moderate, Dr. Noach told Hindustan Times, but this does not mean Omicron is less pathogenic. 

Preliminary data suggests Omicron is functioning “rather differently” than past coronavirus strains, according to a top British health expert who agreed with Dr. Noach.

“The symptoms people get from this particular virus are different to the previous variants,” Sir John Bell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday, adding that stuffy nose, sore throat, myalgia and loose stools are the symptoms to look out for.

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On Thursday, India’s total number of Omicron cases surpassed 87, with new instances recorded in three states – Karnataka, Telangana, and Gujarat – as well as the national capital Delhi. 

Five new cases of the severely modified variety were reported in Karnataka, four new cases were reported in Delhi and Telangana, and one case was reported in Gujarat. 

So far, Omicron infections have been recorded in 11 states and union territories: Maharashtra has 32 cases, Rajasthan has 17, Delhi has 10, Karnataka has eight, Gujarat and Kerala both have five, Telangana has six, and West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, and Tamil Nadu each have one case.