Omicron variant: mild symptoms, incubation, duration

Differences from the Delta variant in reporting

Lighter symptoms for the Omicron variant compared to the traditional ‘covid’, with the possibility of thinking of a cold or a mild flu. The Omicron variant, more contagious than the Delta variant, appears to be characterized by reduced incubation times and appears to be able to partially pierce the vaccine. Infection can cause consequences similar to seasonal illness in vaccinated subjects, with a relatively short duration, particularly if the third dose has also been administered. The new variant, which has been in the limelight for about a month, is essentially associated with five symptoms attributable to a mild form of covid.

The first map was developed on the basis of the cases traced in London between October and December: the most common symptoms reported and archived by the ZOE COVID app were runny nose, headache, fatigue with body aches, sneezing and sore throat. Compared to the ‘traditional’ version of the covid, associated in particular with the Delta variant, there are no reports of the loss of smell and taste, ‘spy’ symptoms of the disease in previous waves.

The milder symptoms are likely to be confused with cold syndromes, very common in the winter months and very common among children. Recovery from common colds occurs within 10 days, according to the Centers for Disease control in the United States. Immunosuppressed people or people with asthma and respiratory diseases, however, risk developing more serious diseases, such as pneumonia.

For a more complete picture, the direct experience of Professor Matteo Bassetti, director of the infectious disease clinic of the San Martino polyclinic in Genoa, may be useful. “I have followed and am following hundreds of people vaccinated with 2 or 3 doses of vaccine who have Covid. Well these people have a cold or a flu that lasts 3-4 days. Nothing to do with Covid a year ago and with the covid of those who are not vaccinated “, writes the doctor on Facebook.

The risk of hospitalization due to symptoms of the Omicron variant is 40% lower compared to the Delta variant, according to data from a research conducted in Great Britain by a team from Imperial College, led by Professor Neil Ferguson. Hospital admissions of at least one day were between 40% and 45% lower in those infected with the Omicron variant, compared to those who contracted the Delta variant of the virus.

Comforting data also regarding a simple visit to the hospital: those infected with Omicron have a 15-20% less risk – compared to a positive for Delta – of having to go to an emergency room.

Bassetti, in the face of the ‘new’ disease, considers it essential to change the strategy: “Do we therefore have to continue with the same methodology of dealing with it last year? Tracking? Millions of tampons? Isolation of all contacts? Quarantines with variable and different durations depending on who decides them? Dedicated Covid wards with personnel removed from other health care activities? Colors of the regions decided on the basis of hospitalized patients without distinguishing sick from asymptomatic colonized people? This phase cannot be tackled with the same rules “.