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Tuesday 28 December 2021

Omicron or Delta: which Covid strain do you have?

Right now you are reading this as you likely have just been advised you have Omicron.

Or someone you live with or love has it...

Or you think you may have it.

But do you have the Delta strain of Covid, or the Omicron variant of Covid?

And does it matter?

And how do know which you have?

In gathering info, there are a few key differences between the Omicron and Delta variants of Covid-19.

Though no ONE symptom can help you figure out which one you’ve caught if you've tested positive. 

Other than that PCR test (we know... at time of writing this your results will likely be returned after more than five days), and additional genome sequencing, a scratchy throat could be a key sign you’re infected with the new mutant strain, The Sun reports.

Doctors have found Omicron-infected patients seem to present with a scratchy throat - like they’ve been yelling or singing loudly - making their voices huskier or deeper than usual even before you start feeling sick.

Delta-infected patients instead have a sore throat.

Private health insurer Discovery Health found a scratchy throat was the most common symptom Omicron patients experience, followed by nasal congestion, a dry cough and lower back pain.

Here is a list of what's what with both variants:

DELTA symptoms:

  • Fever

  • Coughing

  • Sore throat

  • Shortness of breath

  • Runny nose or congestion

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or joint pains

  • Nausea or loss of appetite

  • Diarrhoea or vomiting

  • Temporary loss of taste or smell

OMICRON symptoms:

  • Scratchy throat or a hoarse, deeper voice

  • Runny nose/congestion

  • Headache

  • Dry cough

  • Fatigue

  • Sneezing

  • Lower back pain

  • Night sweats

  • Body aches

    Infectious diseases expert Professor Peter Collignon said the differing symptoms could prove that Omicron had a lower “virulence” than Delta.

    “I can believe (the difference in symptoms), your throat may be more scratchy than sore, that may be a reflection of not as bad virulence or aggressiveness from the virus strain,” Professor Collignon said.

    Omicron has been deemed “five times less severe” than the Delta strain, according to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, and early studies by The UK Health Security Agency have found people who catch the new strain are 70 per cent less likely to end up in hospital.

    Professor Collignon also stood by vaccination as the best way to protect yourself from any strain of the virus.

    "It’s the best insurance you can get, most people who come to grief are those who aren’t vaccinated at all… the first two shots give you a 90 percent reduction in going to hospital, the third a 95 per cent reduction,” he said.

    In writing this from my bed and day-something of my Covid positive diagnosis, I can attest as an immunocompromised person (vitiligo) that I am SUPER grateful for my double vaccination.

    My booster was days away, but now my body is filled with antibodies, and I am continuing my journey to getting to 100% health... with only days to go!

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