'Body aches’ most distinctive symptom for COVID amid flu-like symptoms of Omicron

Hagar El-Shabrawy, Tuesday 15 Feb 2022

Each coronavirus wave has its distinctive symptoms that say it is not flu and the current wave’s major symptom is body aches, head of the parliament’s health committee and former health minister Ashraf Hatem said on Monday.

File photo: A medical employee taking body temperature of a citizen amid coronavirus outbreak in Egypt (Photo: Al-Ahram)

“In light of the Omicron’s flu-like symptoms the only two factors upon which one can know he is coronavirus infected are body aches, and if he came into contact with coronavirus patient,” Hatem said in a video released by the health ministry’s official Facebook page.

According to the ministry, the symptoms of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 are flu-like symptoms, which include a runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, and a sore throat.

The ministry updated in mid-January its health advice by urging those who suffer from common cold symptoms to consider that they may have contracted COVID-19 and should therefore self-isolate and avoid sharing personal items with family members so that they can avoid developing symptoms and passing the infection to others.

Egypt is now in the fifth wave of coronavirus, according to Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, the official spokesman for the health ministry.

Abdel-Ghaffar appealed to citizens who have chronic diseases, or immune deficiencies to send an SMS to 1440, which provides home support for home-isolated cases.

If someone ever experiences symptoms such as rise in temperature, shortness of breath, oxygen ratio less than 92, he must go to hospital, Abdel-Ghaffar stressed.

We have exceeded 43 percent of the targeted groups for vaccination, which compromises those who are above 12 years old, Abdel-Ghaffar said, adding that Egypt targets to inoculate 70 percent of the targeted group during the second half of 2022.

The country has so far 29.1 million fully vaccinated citizens, the health ministry said in its daily report issued on Tuesday, and 38.6 million citizens have received their initial shot.

As many as 779,947 booster shots have been administered until Tuesday, the ministry added.

Egypt is currently battling a spike in COVID-19 infections detecting above 2,000 cases daily since late January and breaking its single-day record of cases more than once during the first week of February.

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