The Ministry of Labor (MOL) published a list of possible Omicron variant symptoms in English for foreign residents on Saturday (May 21), with recent studies indicating that runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, and sneezing are the most common symptoms.
The MOL’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA) posted a chart showing 19 possible symptoms of Omicron infections on its 1955PH LINE account that day, amid an increase in cases of the variant across Taiwan. According to research, among these symptoms, an abnormal sense of smell is less common in Omicron patients than in Delta patients, while a sore throat is more common in Omicron infections.
According to a study published in The Lancet on April 23, 16.7% of Omicron patients reported an abnormal sense of smell, while 52.7 percent of Delta patients reported the same. However, 70.5 percent of Omicron patients and 60.8 percent of Delta patients reported a sore throat.
Patients with Omicron were also found to be 24% more likely to have a hoarse voice. Overall, Omicron infections were “roughly half as likely” as Delta infections to cause at least one of the “classic” COVID symptoms of fever, loss of smell, and persistent cough.
Symptom duration was also found to be shorter in Omicron cases who received two vaccine doses and a booster. Those infected with Omicron reported symptoms for 4.4 days, while those infected with Delta reported symptoms for 7.7 days.
In terms of hospitalisation, Omicron patients were 25% less likely to be hospitalised, accounting for 1.9 percent of those infected versus 2.6 percent of Delta patients. Omicron cases were also 2.5 times more likely than Delta cases to recover within one week.
However, the BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants of Omicron appear to have distinct symptoms, with the Zoe COVID Symptom Study in the United Kingdom revealing subtle differences between the two. The study discovered that those infected with the BA.2 subvariant had a higher prevalence of a runny nose and fatigue than those infected with the BA.1.
According to the study, the most common symptoms of Omicron are still a runny nose, followed by fatigue, sore throat, sneezing, headache, cough, and hoarse voice.