Runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat most common symptoms of Omicron variant: Health ministry

Reem Abdulkader, Tuesday 21 Dec 2021

Common cold-like symptoms are most prevalent among people infected with the Omicron variant, according to preliminary data from a British study that Health Ministry Spokesperson Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar cited on Tuesday.

Covid-19 Egypt
File Photo: A health worker collects a sample at a drive-through COVID-19 screening center at the Ain Shams field hospitalin Cairo, Egypt taken on June 15, 2020. Photo courtesy of State information service website.

The symptoms of the COVID-19 Omicron variant include a runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, and a sore throat, according to a statement by the ministry.

On 17 December, the GAVI Alliance, which co-leads global efforts on equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, quoted Tim Spector — a professor of genetic epidemiology at London’s King’s College and the leader of the UK’s ZOE COVID Symptom Study — as saying that Londoners who have common cold-like symptoms “are currently more likely to have COVID-19 than a cold.”

Omicron has now overtaken the Delta variant as the dominant coronavirus strain in London.

On Friday, Egypt’s health ministry announced its detection of the first three cases of Omicron in the country, who were three Egyptians travellers that arrived from abroad and tested positive for the variant at the airport.

The ministry has imposed several restrictions to counter the spread of the variant, including reinforcing pandemic-related measures at its ports.

Additionally, Egypt has recently started sending texts to fully vaccinated individuals detailing appointments to receive booster shots of the vaccine, which are meant to bolster immunity to COVID-19 and its variants.

Egypt has administered more than 52 million COVID-19 vaccine doses since the launch of its mass vaccination campaign in January, according to the latest figures by the ministry.

The country plans to vaccinate 40 percent of its 102-million population by the end of 2021.

The country has so far detected 376,233 coronavirus cases, including 313,051 recoveries and 21,410 deaths.

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