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Omicron: Everything You Need To Know About The COVID Variant's Symptoms, Isolation And Recovery

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Omicron variant has been detected in 171 countries and is likely to replace the Delta as the most prevalent strain over time. Furthermore, the global health agency advises people not to take this variant lightly or as a mild cold, as it can lead to several severe health issues if not taken seriously.

Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, it is more vital than ever to be aware of our actions and be aware of all the symptoms associated with the virus and its new variants.


Omicron Symptoms: How Are They Different?

Patients with omicron often experience a variety of symptoms that resolve quickly and do not require hospitalization. According to physicians, omicron cases are often mistaken for common upper respiratory infections [1][2].

  • A runny nose, sore throat, and nasal congestion are the most common symptoms. A cough seems to be milder [than previous variants], and fever seems to be less common.
  • Cough, fatigue, congestion, and a runny nose are the most common symptoms of the omicron variant. The CDC lists fatigue, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, and diarrhoea as symptoms associated with COVID-19. Asymptomatic infections are also widespread.
  • Data from the UK indicate that fever and cough are not as common with omicron, with the five most common symptoms being a runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, and sore throat.

Omicron Isolation: What You Need To Know

The importance of being vigilant in regard to COVID-19 and its variants cannot be overstated. Observing symptoms as they develop, monitoring them and isolating yourself until you receive test results are some of the basic measures you must take during these extremely challenging times.

In addition, individuals should not be negligent once they have recovered [3].

  • It is important to remember that even if you test negative and feel better, your body is still in recovery and needs additional time to recover.
  • Doctors advise people to rest, eat the right foods, and stay hydrated during this period.
  • Avoid strenuous activities and exercise beyond your capabilities.
  • Overexertion can lead to complications following COVID.
  • In a systematic review involving 79 papers worldwide (excluding those with very low case numbers), 5340 infected individuals were assessed for viral shedding [4].

    Among the aspects considered were the viral load determined by PCR testing, which can remain positive for some time beyond clinical recovery, and the ability to cultivate viable viruses from these people, indicating they were still clearly infectious.

    The analysis revealed a low viral load in the first couple of days, followed by a peak between days three and six, then a reversal at days seven to nine, and a complete loss of virus by day ten. Therefore, the data supported a ten-day isolation period.

    However, according to Dr Harsh Mahajan, Founder and Chief Radiologist of Mahajan Imaging, the isolation period for patients infected with the omicron variant of the novel Coronavirus has been reduced to seven days [5].


Omicron Home Quarantine: What Experts Are Saying

  1. Isolating yourself from family is the first step to recovery. Make sure everyone wears a mask at home [6]. You can use cloth masks or surgical masks. At the end of the isolation period, each household must sanitize.
  2. Individuals who isolate themselves should have their temperature checked daily. Temperatures greater than 99.5 are considered feverish [7]. They require immediate medical attention.
  3. Family members who are isolated should monitor their body temperature every four hours.
  4. An oxygen oximeter is essential for patients undergoing home quarantine or treatment at home. Readings below 93 per cent or 3 per cent below routine value should be taken to a Covid care centre or the nearest hospital. At intervals of six hours, patients should measure their oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter and inform their caregivers [8].
  5. The rooms should be properly ventilated, and patients should be given a six-minute walk test. It is recommended that the patient walks for 6 minutes at a normal pace and then rechecks his oxygen levels. This is a sign of early hypoxia, and these patients should seek treatment in a hospital or seek guidance from a physician.
  6. Those who are 15 years or older should get vaccinated. In the event that you become infected, this will provide you with increased immunity.

Who Should Not Consider Home Quarantine?

  • Patients with an immunocompromised status should not be isolated at home [9].
  • Home isolation is not permitted for pregnant women two weeks before delivery is expected.
  • Patients with comorbid conditions may be eligible for home isolation after being evaluated medically.

Omicron Recovery: What You Need To Know

  • Mild cases of COVID-19 usually recover within one to two weeks [10].
  • In severe cases, recovery can take six weeks or more, and there may be permanent damage to the heart, kidneys, lungs, and brain.
  • Typically, patients with omicron do not require intensive care, and if they do, they have multiple comorbidities or other illnesses that necessitate attention.
  • Despite ongoing studies, little is known about long-haulers, or those who have COVID-19 and then suffer persistent, recurring, or reappearing symptoms four or more weeks after first becoming infected.

On A Final Note…

According to experts worldwide, the current epidemics around the globe emphasize the importance of vaccination. The vaccination against COVID-19 helps healthcare workers treat patients more quickly and effectively. In addition, vaccination plays a role in the severity and presentation of the disease. Compared to the alternative potential hospital stay, getting vaccinated seems like a small ask, say, experts.

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