The Omicron variant is now the domint Covid-19 strain in the UK and has fuelled infections over the festive period, with record high rates recorded across much of the UK.
The variant has proved to be much more transmissible than previous mutations and typically causes different symptoms than the original coronavirus strain.
A recent study by the UK Health Security Agency found that the Omicron variant results in 50-70% less likelihood of hospitalisation.
However, its increased transmissibility and ability to evade the vaccine means that scientists are still concerned about its impact on the NHS, following record case numbers in the UK.
Listed are the key symptoms that have been associated with Omicron so far, and the difference to other Covid-19 strains.
1. Runny nose
A runny nose has been linked to Omicron infection, although this could easily be mistaken for a symptom of the common cold or flu. A viral infection causes the nose to produce more mucus to help trap and wash away viral particles. Photo: Shutterstock
A headache is another commonly reported symptom of Omicron infection so far. Researchers have previously found that people with coronavirus tend to have moderate to severely painful headaches, or feel pulsing or stabbing pains. Photo: Shutterstock
Extreme tiredness has been linked to the new Omicron variant, as well as previous strains. While it is not known how long fatigue can last after Omicron infection, the symptom usually lasts between five to eight days with other variants, although some people can still feel tired for several weeks. Photo: Shutterstock
Again, this symptom could easily be confused as a sign of cold or flu, but in some cases it could be an indication of Omicron Covid-19 infection. If you sneezing regularly and are worried it could be a sign of coronavirus, it is best to take a test to be sure. Photo: Shutterstock