TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Labor (MOL) on Saturday (May 21), posted a list of possible Omicron variant symptoms in English for foreign residents, with recent studies showing runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, and sneezing are the most common symptoms.
On its 1955PH LINE account, the MOL's Workforce Development Agency (WDA) that day posted a chart showing 19 possible symptoms of Omicron infections amid surging cases of the variant across Taiwan. Studies found that among these symptoms, an abnormal sense of smell is less common in Omicron patients than those infected with Delta, while a sore throat is more common with Omicron infections.
In a study published in The Lancet on April 23, 16.7% percent of Omicron patients experienced an abnormal sense of smell, while 52.7% of Delta patients reported this phenomenon. However, 70.5% of Omicron patients reported a sore throat, compared to 60.8% of Delta cases.
Omicron patients were also found to be 24% more likely to experience a hoarse voice. Overall, people infected with Omicron were "around half as likely" to have at least one of the "classic" COVID symptoms of fever, loss of smell, and persistent cough than Delta infections.
The duration of symptoms was also found to be shorter with Omicron cases who had received two vaccine doses and a booster. Among such vaccinated individuals, those with Omicron experienced symptoms for 4.4 days, while people infected with Delta reported symptoms for 7.7 days.
As for the likelihood of hospitalization, Omicron patients were 25% less likely to be hospitalized at 1.9% of those infected, compared to 2.6% of Delta patients. Omicron cases were also 2.5 times more likely to recover within one week than Delta cases.
However, there appear to be different symptoms from the BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants of Omicron, with the Zoe COVID Symptom Study in the U.K. showing subtle changes between the two. The study found that the prevalence of a runny nose and fatigue was higher among those infected with the BA.2 subvariant than those infected with BA.1.
The study found that the most common symptoms with Omicron, in general, are still a runny nose, followed by fatigue, sore throat, sneezing, headache, cough, and hoarse voice.