Omicron Variant: The 5 Most Common Symptoms And 4 More Unusual Ones

Besides the top 5 warning signs, more symptoms are appearing for those infected with Omicron.

Besides the top 5 warning signs, more symptoms are appearing for those infected with Omicron.

Symptoms of Omicron variant continue to come forward as COVID-19 cases continue.

Omicron has been reported to be highly transmissible but evidence show that is less severe than the other coronavirus variants.

People with Omicron are most often reporting these five symptoms:

  • sore throat,
  • headache,
  • fatigue,
  • runny nose,
  • and sneezing.

However, infected people with the Omicron strain may also experience one or more of the symptoms below:

  • loss of appetite,
  • nausea,
  • brain fog,
  • and night sweats.

Brain fog refers to a sense of forgetfulness, confusion and lack of mental clarity.

The insight into the symptoms of the Omicron variant comes from the UK-based ZOE COVID study.

The study has been monitoring the effects of the new Omicron variant.

Professor Tim Spector who specialises in genetic epidemiology and the lead scientist of the ZOE COVID study, said:

“Nausea and loss of appetite tended to be more common in those who were fully vaccinated and boosted.”

Although evidence on night sweats are inconclusive, some people who tested positive for Omicron have reported experiencing this symptom.

How Omicron is different with Delta

So far the data suggests that the Omicron variant of COVID, while spreading quicker, is milder than other variants such as Delta.

The proportion of people being hospitalised with the disease in many countries is lower than with Delta.

While it is possible that Omicron is milder, it is also true that many people around the world have built up natural immunity due to infection and vaccination.

Evidence also suggests unlike Delta that replicates in the lung, Omicron multiples in the upper respiratory tract which include the nose, mouth, and throat.

This maybe one of thee reason why Omicron is less severe than Delta.

It may also partly explain why Omicron is highly transmissible between people due to its nasal replication (runny nose and sneezing).


The Blood Type Linked To Severe COVID Infection

The severity of COVID infection depends partly on blood type.

The severity of COVID infection depends partly on blood type.

A person’s blood type might play an important role in contracting COVID-19 and the severity of infection.

According to a study, people with blood type A are more likely to test positive for the novel coronavirus.

Evidence shows that the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2, is highly attracted to the blood type A antigen expressed in the respiratory tract.

Researchers examined the SARS-CoV receptor-binding domain (RBD), a crucial part of the virus that binds to the cells and leads to infection.

The antigens on the surface of a red blood cell determine a person’s blood type: A, B, and O (ABO).

The immune system ignores our blood group antigens but antibodies will attack foreign antigens that enter the body.

The research team analysed the blood group antigens on respiratory and red blood cells (RBCs) to determine how the SARS-CoV-2 RBD interacts with each blood type.

They found that the SARS-CoV-2 RBD much preferred attaching to blood type A antigens found in the lungs.

Dr Sean Stowell, the study’s lead author, said:

“It is interesting that the viral RBD only really prefers the type of blood group A antigens that are on respiratory cells, which are presumably how the virus is entering most patients and infecting them.

Blood type is a challenge because it is inherited and not something we can change.

But if we can better understand how the virus interacts with blood groups in people, we may be able to find new medicines or methods of prevention.”

The authors pointed out this mechanism can’t fully explain or predict how coronaviruses would affect patients with different blood groups.

In other words, something else might affect the connection between blood types and coronavirus disease.

Dr Stowell said:

“Our observation is not the only mechanism responsible for what we are seeing clinically, but it could explain some of the influence of blood type on COVID-19 infection.”

The study was published in Blood Advances (Wu et al., 2021).

The Essential Mineral Linked To A Stronger Immune System

The trace mineral is essential in helping the immune system fight infections like SARS-CoV-2.

The trace mineral is essential in helping the immune system fight infections like SARS-CoV-2.

Zinc helps bring infections under control by limiting levels of inflammation, research finds.

Zinc is an essential mineral as our body doesn’t store it, thus it needs to be obtained from the everyday diet.

Nearly one-third of the world’s population may have a zinc deficiency.

About 12 percent of the U.S. population are not getting enough zinc and 40 percent of the elderly.

Oysters, red meat, lentils, seeds and nuts, green vegetables, diary, and egg are good sources of zinc.

Zinc has many complex jobs and collaborates with different proteins in the body to keep us healthy.

Scientists have found that a protein pulls zinc into key cells which are the body’s first line of defence against infection.

Then zinc cooperates with a process that is crucial in fighting infection — consequently this will stop the immune response from overreacting.

Insufficient zinc in the body at the time of infection would lead to huge inflammation and the immune response can get out of control.

A research team examined if zinc’s activity has any impact on sepsis, a life-threatening condition caused by the immune system overreacting to an infection.

When the immune system tries hard to fight off an infection there is a chance that it goes into overdrive and attacks the body’s own cells.

Any type of infection, including influenza and COVID-19, can cause sepsis, which is linked to severe illness and death.

The findings suggest why supplementation with zinc at the first sign of a cold appears to reduce its severity.

Professor Daren Knoell, study co-author, said:

“We do believe that to some extent, these findings are going to be applicable to other important areas of disease beyond sepsis.

Without zinc on board to begin with, it could increase vulnerability to infection.

But our work is focused on what happens once you get an infection — if you are deficient in zinc you are at a disadvantage because your defense system is amplified, and inappropriately so.

The benefit to health is explicit: Zinc is beneficial because it stops the action of a protein, ultimately preventing excess inflammation.”

According to Professor Knoell, only 10 percent of zinc in the body is available immediately to be used against infection.

The study carried out experiments in human white blood cells which are the first line of defence in fighting infection.

The team found that when a pathogen enters the body, through a process which includes the NF-κB pathway, the innate immune system (the first line of defence) will be activated.

NF-κB, a very active protein, pulls zinc into the immune cells and  binds to a different protein in the cells.

With these events any other activity in the process will stall and so the immune response slows down.

This will reduce inflammation, the body’s natural response to pathogens, which can hurt healthy cells.

Professor Knoell, said:

“The immune system has to work under very strict balance, and this is a classic example of where more is not always better.

We want a robust inflammatory response, which is part of our natural programming to defend us against a bug.

But if that is unchecked, and there is too much inflammation, then it not only attacks the pathogen but can also cause much more collateral damage.”

The study was published in Cell Reports (Liu et al., 2013).

This Vitamin Reduces Inflammation Caused By COVID

This vitamin reduces inflammation caused by the immune system in response to COVID-19.

This vitamin reduces inflammation caused by the immune system in response to COVID-19.

Inflammation is a necessary response by the immune system to infections or injuries, but if this inflammatory response doesn’t stop in time, it can cause severe damage to cells and tissues.

Hyper-inflammation resulting in cytokine storm syndrome (CSS) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are often seen in severe COVID cases.

Inflammation and fibrosis in COVID patients with milder symptoms can damage tissue function and lead to lung disease.

Therefore, scientists are looking for therapies or drugs to help suppresses the immune system and overcome inflammation.

Vitamin D appears to have the ability to lower inflammation caused by T cells in the lungs of COVID patients.

To minimise harm and increase the benefit of taking this vitamin, scientists want to find out how and why and at what dosage the inflammation will be decreased.

For these reasons, Dr Kazemian and colleagues examined first how viruses affect lung cells.

They noticed that in COVID patients, the immune cells in the lung go into overdrive causing too much inflammation.

Then, they found that viruses activate a biochemical pathway which is part of the immune system called the complement system.

The team looked at different methods for blocking the activation of that pathway and reducing inflammation.

Dr Kazemian, study co-author, said:

“In normal infections, Th1 cells, a subset of T cells, go through a pro-inflammatory phase.

The pro-inflammatory phase clears the infection, and then the system shuts down and goes to anti-inflammatory phase.

Vitamin D helps to speed up this transition from pro-inflammatory to the anti-inflammatory phase of the T cells.

We don’t know definitively, but theorize the vitamin could potentially help patients with severe inflammation caused by Th1 cells.”

The cell’s response to vitamin D was unusual, suggesting vitamin D deficiency in these patients as a possible reason why the pro-inflammatory phase won’t shut down.

They suggest that besides existing treatments, a prescription of a highly concentrated form of vitamin D can help COVID patients to recover quickly from the disease.

Dr Kazemian said:

“We found that vitamin D—a specialized form of it, not the form you can get at the drugstore—has the potential to reduce inflammation in the test tube, and we figured out how and why it does that.

However, it’s important to understand that we did not carry out a clinical study, and the results of our experiments in the test tube need to be tested in clinical trials in actual patients.”

They don’t recommend vitamin D supplementation sold over the counter.

“We do not recommend the use of normal vitamin D off the shelf at the pharmacy.

No one should be taking more than the recommended doses of vitamin D in an attempt to prevent or combat COVID infections.”

The study was published in the journal Nature Immunology (Chauss et al., 2021).

COVID: Higher Levels Of This Vitamin May Reduce Infection Risk

Having this vitamin above recommended levels may reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.

Having this vitamin above recommended levels may reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.

Higher than recommended levels of vitamin D — above those previously considered sufficient — could lower the risk for COVID-19 infection.

Vitamin D levels of around 30 ng/mL is generally considered the normal range.

However, a study has found that Black people with blood levels of 30 to 40 ng/mL were almost 3 times more likely to test positive for coronavirus than those with vitamin D levels of 40 ng/ml or above.

The research team analysed data on 3,000 patients with COVID at the University of Chicago Medical Center who had a vitamin D blood test two weeks before the infection.

The team, in their previous study, found that people with vitamin D deficiency, a level of 20 ng/mL or less, are at higher risk of COVID infection.

Another study found that 80 percent of patients hospitalized with COVID were deficient in vitamin D (Hernández et al., 2020).

Dr David Meltzer, the study’s lead author, said:

“These new results tell us that having vitamin D levels above those normally considered sufficient is associated with decreased risk of testing positive for COVID-19, at least in Black individuals.”

Currently there is no standard for what an optimal level of vitamin D should be and recommended values for vitamin D are largely based on past studies regarding bone health.

Dr Meltzer said:

“There’s a lot of literature on vitamin D.

Most of it has been focused on bone health, which is where the current standards for sufficient vitamin D levels come from.

But there’s also some evidence that vitamin D might improve immune function and decrease inflammation.

So far, the data has been relatively inconclusive.

Based on these results, we think that earlier studies may have given doses that were too low to have much of an effect on the immune system, even if they were sufficient for bone health.

It may be that different levels of vitamin D are adequate for different functions.”

The main way of getting vitamin D is exposure to sunlight but people with darker skin and many others have low levels of vitamin D in their blood.

According to Dr Meltzer, vitamin D level is below 30 ng/ml in nearly 50 percent of the world’s population.

A different study found that patients with a blood level of at least 30 ng/mL of 25-hydroxyvitamin D had a 52 percent higher chance of surviving the infection than those with lower levels of vitamin D (Maghbooli et al., 2020).

Dr Meltzer said:

“Lifeguards, surfers, those are the kinds of folks who tend to have more than sufficient vitamin D levels.

Most folks living in Chicago in the winter are going to have levels that are well below that.”

However, excess supplementation of vitamin D can cause hypercalcemia (high level of calcium in the blood).

The symptoms are stomach upset, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, frequent urination, excessive thirst, bone pain, and kidney stones.

Dr Meltzer added:

“Currently, the adult recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 600 to 800 international units (IUs) per day.

The National Academy of Medicine has said that taking up to 4,000 IUs per day is safe for the vast majority of people, and risk of hypercalcemia increases at levels over 10,000 IUs per day.”

The study was published in the journal JAMA Open Network (Meltzer et al., 2021).

COVID: This Vitamin Deficiency Increases Severe Illness Risk By 14 Times

People low in this vitamin are 14 times more likely to become severely ill with COVID-19.

People low in this vitamin are 14 times more likely to become severely ill with COVID-19.

Patients with a vitamin D deficiency prior to COVID infection are greatly at risk of severe illness and death, according to a study.

Vitamin D deficiency has been related to bone loss, cognitive decline, autoimmune conditions, respiratory infections, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity.

Since vitamin D influences immune responses against coronavirus, its supplementation has been encouraged during the pandemic.

A recent study found that low vitamin D levels prior to COVID infection increases the severity and chance of death from the disease in hospitalized patients.

Researchers examined 1,176 COVID patients who were hospitalised between April 2020 and February 2021 in Israel.

Vitamin D levels for these patients were measured two years to two weeks before they become ill from coronavirus.

A vitamin D level of 20 ng/ml and lower was considered a deficiency.

The results showed that patients with vitamin D deficiency were at 14 times higher risk of getting critically ill with COVID than those with levels of 40 ng/ml or more.

Patients with low vitamin D levels had a death rate of 26 percent, while for those with sufficient levels it was 2 percent.

Dr Amiel Dror, the study’s first author, said:

“Our results suggest that it is advisable to maintain normal levels of vitamin D.

This will be beneficial to those who contract the virus.

There is a clear consensus for vitamin D supplementation on a regular basis as advised by local health authorities as well as global health organizations.”

Amir Bashkin, study co-author, said:

“This is especially true for the COVID-19 pandemic when adequate vitamin D has an added benefit for the proper immune response to respiratory illness.”

Data analysis across 20 countries in Europe also suggests that a large number of COVID cases and high death rates could be related to vitamin D deficiency.

A study points out that vitamin D levels vary with the season and so emphasises the need for vitamin D intake in winter.

Exposure to the sun for even 15 minutes daily can give the body a chance to make enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D is found in foods such as oily fish including salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines, eggs, liver, and some fortified foods including diary.

The study was published in the journal PLOS One (Dror et al., 2022).

The Habit That Quadruples Risk Of Dying From COVID

People with this habit are four times more likely to die from COVID.

People with this habit are four times more likely to die from COVID.

Walking slowly is a warning sign of contracting severe COVID-19 and is linked to a higher risk of death, a study has found.

Slow walkers are twice as likely to develop a severe coronavirus infection and four times more likely to die from it.

For the study, researchers from Leicester University collected data from more than 400,000 middle-aged UK adults.

They wanted to find out if body mass index (BMI) and walking pace have any effect on contracting a severe infection and death from COVID.

The results showed that people of a normal weight with a slow walking habit were 2.5 times more likely to develop severe COVID and 3.75 times at higher risk of dying from the infection compared to fast walkers.

A walking pace of less than three miles per hour was considered slow, three to four miles per hour as steady or average, and more than four miles per hour as brisk (fast walkers).

People who usually walk fast have greater cardiorespiratory fitness.

Professor Thomas Yates, the study’s first author, said:

“We know already that obesity and frailty are key risk factors for COVID-19 outcomes.

This is the first study to show that slow walkers have a much higher risk of contracting severe COVID-19 outcomes, irrespective of their weight.

With the pandemic continuing to put unprecedented strain on health care services and communities, identifying individuals at greatest risk and taking preventative measures to protect them is crucial.”

Also, the research team found that obese people who walk fast are less likely to develop severe COVID and die than slower walkers with a normal weight.

However, the risk was similarly high in both obese and normal weight slow walkers, suggesting walking pace can be a useful risk predictor.

Professor Yates, said:

“Fast walkers have been shown to generally have good cardiovascular and heart health, making them more resilient to external stressors, including viral infection but this hypothesis has not yet been established for infectious disease.

Whilst large routine database studies have reported the association of obesity and fragility with COVID-19 outcomes, routine clinical databases do not currently have data on measures of physical function or fitness.

It is my view that ongoing public health and research surveillance studies should consider incorporating simple measures of physical fitness such as self-reported walking pace in addition to BMI, as potential risk predictors of COVID-19 outcomes that could ultimately enable better prevention methods that save lives.”

The study was published in the journal International Journal of Obesity (Yates et al., 2021).

COVID: This Vitamin Deficiency Could Increase Infection Risk

The vitamin helps to enhance the immune response to the virus.

The vitamin helps to enhance the immune response to the virus.

Vitamin D deficiency makes people vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, a report reveals.

Vitamin D is crucial for the immune system: it improves the body’s defence response against infections, helps avert respiratory infections, and reduces the need for antibiotics.

The scientists point out that vitamin D is a seasonal vitamin and and so emphasise the need for vitamin D intake.

The study highlights that one-in-five Irish adults aged 55 and older are deficient during the winter and one-in-eight adults over 50 are deficient all year round.

Exposure to the sun for even 15 minutes daily can give the body a chance to make enough vitamin D.

In Northern countries, vitamin D cannot be produced in winter so the only chance to make it is between late March and late September.

The amount of exposure to the sun through this period also depends on factors such as rainy days, cloud cover, and so on.

In that case, with the correct diet and supplementation, deficiency can be avoided.

Vitamin D is found in foods such as oily fish including salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines, eggs, liver, and some fortified foods including diary.

People who are in isolation at home and have no exposure to the sun are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

The other vulnerable group are those who are physically inactive, obese, have chronic lung disease or asthma.

For these reasons it may be important to consume a diet high in vitamin D or take vitamin D supplements, which are available over-the-counter.

The research team say that vitamin D supplementation is advisable for people over 50 who don’t get enough sunlight or those who are ‘cocooning’ because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Professor Rose Anne Kenny, the lead researcher of the study, said:

“We have evidence to support a role for Vitamin D in the prevention of chest infections, particularly in older adults who have low levels.

In one study Vitamin D reduced the risk of chest infections to half in people who took supplements.

Though we do not know specifically of the role of Vitamin D in COVID infections, given its wider implications for improving immune responses and clear evidence for bone and muscle health, those cocooning and other at-risk cohorts should ensure they have an adequate intake of Vitamin D.

Cocooning is a necessity but will reduce physical activity.

Muscle deconditioning occurs rapidly in these circumstances and Vitamin D will help to maintain muscle health and strength in the current crisis.”

The report was published by Trinity College Dublin (Kenny et al., 2020).

Polio: What To Know About The Latest Outbreak

It may be that hundreds of people have contracted polio in the current outbreak, but do not realise.

It may be that hundreds of people have contracted polio in the current outbreak, but do not realise.

The polio virus has been detected in wastewater in both London and New York.

Polio is a disease it was thought was almost eradicated outside of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The disease was declared beaten in the U.S. in 1979.

A consistent vaccine programme has meant that most people are immune to it.

However, a few cases have sprung up around the world: in Ukraine, Israel and now there is a case of paralysis from polio near New York City.

It is thought that the virus may be once again spreading among people who are not vaccinated.

How does polio spread?

Polio is very contagious and spreads from person to person and through contaminated water — usually via faecal particles.

It can also spread by coughs and sneezes, but that is less likely.

What are the symptoms of polio?

Most people have no symptoms of polio infection, which is what can make it difficult to track and contain.

It may be that hundreds of people have contracted polio in the current outbreak, but do not realise.

Around one-quarter of people experience a few days of flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, sore throat and nausea.

A small number of people, though, will get more serious symptoms.

Polio is most dangerous to children under five-years-old.

The virus can enter the spinal chord, causing paralysis and the possibility of permanent disability and death.


Most people in wealthy nations are routinely vaccinated against polio.

In the U.S. around 93 percent of 2-year-olds have had the polio vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For those who are vaccinated, there is no need to do anything.

Research has shown that people retain protective antibodies in their blood for decades after vaccination.

For those who are unvaccinated, some health officials are recommending polio shots.

Unvaccinated people are at a higher risk of more serious side-effects, such as paralysis.

Health agencies have begun offering polio shots, especially for young children who are not already vaccinated.


The Most Common Symptoms Of Monkeypox Have Changed

The symptoms in the latest outbreak of monkeypox are different to those reported in previous outbreaks.

The symptoms in the latest outbreak of monkeypox are different to those reported in previous outbreaks.

The main symptoms of monkeypox are an unexplained rash on any part of their body plus one or more classical symptoms of monkeypox infection.

The classical symptoms of a monkeypox infection are:

  • acute illness with fever (>38.5°C),
  • intense headaches,
  • myalgia (muscle aches and pains),
  • arthralgia (joint stiffness),
  • back pain,
  • and lymphadenopathy (swelling of the lymph nodes).

However, the latest research suggests that there are important differences in the symptoms in the most recent outbreaks of the disease.

Scientists analysed 197 confirmed monkeypox cases in London between May and July 2022.

The found that some of the most common symptoms were penile swelling and rectal pain.

These are different symptoms than those reported in previous outbreaks.

Every person in the study was a man who had sex with other men, except one.

They had lesions on their skin, most often on their genitals or around the anal area.

The other symptoms they reported were fever (62 percent), swollen lymph nodes (58 percent), and muscle aches and pain (32 percent).

Some patients, the researchers found, developed skin lesions first (38 percent), while others experienced systemic symptoms like fever in the first instance.

Only 10 percent of patients were admitted to hospital for the management of pain and no deaths were reported.

Three-quarters of patients had not had contact with someone who had a known monkeypox infection and only one man in the study had travelled to a region where the disease is endemic.

This raises the possibility that the disease can be transmitted between people who have few or no symptoms.

The study’s authors write:

“Understanding these findings will have major implications for contact tracing, public health advice, and ongoing infection control and isolation measures.”

The study was published in The BMJ (Patel et al., 2022).