I’m a virologist and these are the 2 Omicron symptoms that can strike ‘very rapidly’

AN expert has revealed the two Omicron symptoms that can strike "very rapidly".

Brits are frantically keeping an eye out for any signs of the mutant variant – with these two appearing to be big clues.

Omicron cases are climbing in the UK and experts have said that symptoms are likely to differ from the three traditional Covid ones.

The big two that can come on fast are fatigue and headaches.

Alongside the worry of being infected with Covid, most people are likely to suffer with a cold during the winter months, so it can be confusing knowing which it could be.

Speaking to The Sun,virologist and Professor of Molecular Oncology, Professor Lawrence Young said that Brits should be using lateral flow tests to our advantage and 'flow before we go'.

He said: "There does seem to be an overlap with cold symptoms and there is an estimation from data from ZOE that a quarter of people who have colds actually have Covid.

"They do overlap but it seems that the onset of a cold is a bit more gradual. But with Omicron people get headaches and fatigue rapidly if they have Covid.

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A booster shot is the best protection against Omicron, with early data suggesting it pushes efficacy back up to 75 per cent.

Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA Chief Executive said: “Once again, we urge everyone who is able to get a booster jab to come forward and do so. It is the best defence we have against this highly transmissible new variant."

The Sun is also urging readers to sign up to the Jabs Army campaign to make the rollout as smooth and fast as possible.

The three symptoms outlined by the NHS include a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell.

But experts say symptoms are more like colds and medics have urged the NHS to update the list so that people know when to isolate and to get tested.

Bugs and infections are everywhere and it's important that you're able to distinguish between colds and Covid.

🔵 Read our Covid live blog for the very latest updates

Prof Young added: "A cold develops over a few days.

"It’s hard to distinguish but we have lateral flow tests now and we should be ‘flowing before we go’.

"If you’re in any doubt at all then get take a lateral flow tests as we can do them in real time.

"And it’s the same for parents with their kids too, if your kiddy has a cold then do a lateral flow test."

His comment's echo that of King's College London's Professor Tim Spector, who is the head of the ZOE Symptom Tracker App.

Prof Spector said people logging their symptoms through the ZOE app have cold-like symptoms, rather that the classic trio of Covid symptoms outlined by the NHS.

"So it’s slowly turning into a more symptomatic milder condition that just looks like a severe cold for many people."

Prof Spector said that many people hadn't realised that the variant had turned into a more 'cold-like' disease.

Experts around the world have largely concluded there are five symptoms in particular that people should be looking out for.

These are a scratchy throat, mild muscle aches, extreme tiredness, a dry cough and night sweats.

Data coming out of South Africa also revealed lower back pain is another symptom.

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It's important that if you think you have Covid then you get a test and isolate in order to stop the spread of the virus.

These new symptoms could mean that many people are missing infections as a scratchy throat could be part of a cold, and many people could mistake back pain for common aches and niggles.

A booster jab is the best Christmas gift you can give your family, Boris Johnson told The Sun last night — as data revealed Omicron is half as likely to put ­people in hospital.

The stunning news from around 80,000 of the first Omicron cases in the UK has finally confirmed hopes that the latest strain is milder.

Downing Street had been braced to announce a “circuit breaker”.

But the new data means no announcement on restrictions for next week are expected before the festive weekend.

Hopes were rising that fresh curbs could be avoided altogether if hospital admissions do not spike.

Revellers were still warned not to make plans for New Year’s Eve just yet after daily confirmed cases passed 100,000 for the first time in the pandemic.

But it was also another daily record for boosters with a total of 1.06million first, second and third jabs in arms. Of those, 968,665 were boosters.

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