London, Jan 15 (IANS) Omicron, which is spreading like a wildfire across the globe, has changed the symptoms of Covid-19 as just 13 per cent of infected people now lose their smell or taste and sore throat is now 80 per cent more common.
According to an analysis by government scientists, Britons who catch the virus are now 80 per cent more likely to suffer a sore throat than they were three months ago when Delta was the dominant strain, reports the Daily Mail.
But the loss of taste and smell is now much less likely to affect Covid-positive people, striking just a third of those it was previously, the report said.
Other hallmarks of the virus such as a runny nose, fever and cough are still just as likely to be experienced by sufferers of the new variant.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) analysis was based on reports from 174,755 Omicron and 87,930 Delta confirmed cases.
King’s College London scientists — who also study Covid symptoms — called on the Government to add sore throat to the official Covid warning lists list immediately.
They said they were also seeing fewer people experiencing loss of smell now than when Delta was the main variant.
For the analysis, participants were asked to mark down which symptoms they had experienced during a confirmed Covid infection.
UKHSA scientists then compared the answers of those with a confirmed Omicron or Delta infection to investigate whether the warning signs had changed.
Up to 90 per cent of participants experienced at least one symptom during their infection.
Positive swabs were analysed to confirm whether someone had Omicron or Delta, the report said.
They found 54 per cent of Omicron-infected people suffered a sore throat, but only 13 per cent said they had a loss of taste and smell.
For comparison, for those with Delta 34 per cent suffered either a sore throat or loss of taste and smell.