Omicron variant: 13 symptoms of the variant found in the ‘fully vaccinated’ – study

Omicron sub-variant discussed by infectious disease expert

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Omicron appears to be receding now in the UK but the wave could gather momentum once again thanks to BA.2 – a relative of the main Omicron variant. The variant spread rapidly in countries including Denmark, the Philippines and South Africa in the past few weeks. A laboratory study of BA.2 suggests that its rapid ascent is probably the result of it being more transmissible than its relative.

This raises fresh concerns about the variant’s ability to breach some of the vaccinated population’s immune defences.

The main Omicron variant has proved canny at avoiding the attention of antibodies induced by vaccination.

This mutational advantage has led to reports of symptomatic COVID-19 cropping in the fully vaccinated population.

A number of Omicron symptoms in the fully vaccinated are listed in a study journal Eurosurveillance.

According to the case report, on 30 November 2021 the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) was notified by a local laboratory in Oslo of a suspected case of Omicron.

The laboratory provided information that the case was likely exposed at a company Christmas party held on 26 November 2021 and that one of the attendees had returned from South Africa on 24 November 2021.

The closed event was held in a separate room in a restaurant in Oslo from 6pm to 10:30pm, after which the venue was opened to the public from 10:30 to 3am.

A pre-party had been arranged for the Christmas party attendees at a separate venue, after which they were transported by private buses to the restaurant.

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Although there were no restrictions in place for events at the time in Norway, all attendees of the party were reported to be “fully vaccinated” and had been asked by the organiser to perform a rapid antigen self-test.

It was found that 66 out of the 117 people in attendance came down with confirmed Omicron, while there were a further 15 probable cases of the virus variant.

When the attendees were probed about their symptoms, a cough was the most commonly experienced one, with 83 percent of attendees said to be afflicted with this symptom.

This was followed by fatigue (74 percent), sore throat (72 percent) and a headache (68 percent).

In total, the following symptoms of Omicron were reported in the fully vaccinated:

  • Cough
  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • Fatigue/lethargy
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Reduced smell
  • Reduced appetite
  • Heavy breathing
  • Reduced taste
  • Abdominal pain.

“The preliminary results of our outbreak investigation indicate that the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron VOC is highly transmissible among fully vaccinated young and middle-aged adults,” the researchers concluded.

However, the researchers note that “given the specific context of the outbreak in a high-risk setting for transmission, the findings must be interpreted with caution”.

“The investigation is continuing to determine the full spectrum of illness and its duration, the risk factors for infection and the extent of secondary transmission.”

Why you should get vaccinated

Getting vaccinated still offers the best defence against COVID-19 because it slashes the risk of serious illness.

A booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine helps improve the protection you have from your first two doses of the vaccine.

It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

Everyone aged 16 and over who had a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least three months ago can get a booster dose.

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