Corona symptoms in omicron are harder to distinguish from flu, according to Robert Koch Institute

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Less frequent loss of taste, more frequent sore throat: the symptoms of Corona patients have changed during the pandemic, according to an analysis by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The so-called symptom profile has become increasingly “flu-like” in the omicron variant BA.5 and has approached that of other respiratory diseases, the authors write in the “Deutsches Ärzteblatt.”

Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important for primary care physicians to test their patients for corona and influenza to treat them properly, he said. Across all variants, cough and cold were the most commonly reported symptoms, according to the analysis. However, during the omicron wave, the proportion of patients with sore throats increased significantly. The symptom then ranked third at 48 percent. In the wild type and delta wave, this figure had been 27 and 26 percent, respectively. The proportion of fever was highest in children under five years of age in all variants and decreased steadily with age.

In contrast, a typical symptom from the early days of the Corona pandemic has become rarer: In the phase dominated by the wild type, the RKI still registered a loss of taste in 23 percent of the transmitted cases; in the delta wave, the proportion was almost the same at 24 percent. During the phase dominated by the omicron type BA.5, it dropped to 11 percent.

For their analysis, the experts examined data on PCR-positive cases submitted to the RKI by public health departments. They looked at cases with at least one transmitted symptom in those phases where a Corona variant accounted for more than 80 percent of the sequenced strains. It is unclear whether the altered symptom profile was due to changing viral characteristics, increasing immunity in the population, or both, they write.

  • source: kurier.at/picture: pixabay.com
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