Differences between Omicron coronavirus variant, Delta, a cold and flu

As the UK government tightens restrictions in the midst of the proliferation of the new Omicron variant, doctors are reporting different symptoms compared to other variants of covid.

But with many winter bugs also going around, it can be hard to tell the difference between a cold, the flu, the Delta variant of coronavirus, or this new strain.

Many people have already reported that they have been hit by the “worst lurgy ever”, with some having to take time off work and be ill for weeks.

READ MORE: The unusual symptoms of the Omicron variant, you should be aware of, as they are different from Delta

It is therefore important to be able to tell the difference between the two coronavirus variants, a cold and the flu.

Anyone showing a covid symptom should take a free PCR, which can be booked here.

Many symptoms overlap between colds, flu and coronavirus.



You need to know the symptoms
You need to know the symptoms

However, there are some differences that can help identify your illness.

What are the symptoms of a cold?

According to the NHS, cold symptoms come on gradually and may include:

  • a stuffy or runny nose
  • a sore throat
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • cough
  • Sneezes
  • an elevated temperature
  • pressure in your ears and face
  • loss of taste and smell

The symptoms are the same in adults and children, although the symptoms sometimes last longer in children.

What are the symptoms of influenza?

The NHS says that flu symptoms can include:

  • a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
  • a painful body
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • a dry cough
  • a sore throat
  • a headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • lost appetite
  • diarrhea or abdominal pain
  • to feel sick and be sick

What are the main covid symptoms?

According to the NHS, the main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, persistent cough
  • A loss or change in your sense of smell or taste

Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should order a free PCR test.

Most of the above symptoms are the first to be officially recognized by the government and are still the accepted ones associated with the Delta variant, the Mirror reports.

The Omicron variant was first discovered and sequenced in South Africa.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, president of the South African Medical Association, who was one of the first to suspect the Omicron Covid strain, has said she has noticed that patients at her private clinic show symptoms different from Delta variants.

Dr. Coetzee told AFP she warned health officials of a “clinical picture that does not fit Delta” on Nov. 18, when seven patients showed various symptoms that appeared “very related to normal viral infection.”

She said her patients exhibited extreme fatigue, mild muscle aches, itchy throat and dry cough. Unlike the previous varieties, this one does not cause loss of taste or smell, she added.

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