Covid-19 Omicron symptoms according to the NHS and Zoe and all the strange new ones people are reporting

Covid-19 Omicron symptoms according to the NHS and Zoe and all the strange new ones people are reporting


It might seem like the Covid-19 pandemic is behind us, with Covid restrictions across the UK lifted and life returning to normal. Another step towards normality was taken this week as Welsh education secretary Jeremy Miles lifted all Covid rules in schools.

But Covid is still with us, over two years on from when it started. Though testing has all but disappeared, coronavirus infections are still happening – it’s estimated that over 170,000 people in Wales had the illness in the weekend April 23.

Symptoms are no longer as simple as a new cough, or a loss of taste and smell. Here are all of the official symptoms of Covid-19 listed by the NHS, and the other symptoms being reported, both those listed by the Zoe Covid Study and anecdotally by people still suffering. Although these symptoms are not specifically listed as, or limited to, the Omicron variant, that is the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant in the UK.

Read more: The strange unexplained Covid symptoms leaving people badly ill for weeks.

What are the Covid symptoms listed by the NHS?

Originally, the NHS only listed three main symptoms for the virus, but added an additional nine in April. Official NHS Covid-19 symptoms now are:

  • a high temperature or shivering
  • a new, continuous cough
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • an aching body
  • a headache
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • feeling sick or being sick

These are the main symptoms of the Omicron variant, according to the NHS. But there are also a number of symptoms reported by people across the UK who have tested positive for Covid in the last few months.

Journalist Chiara Rinaldi said that she experienced “state of otherworldliness” in the lead up to her diagnosis. Weeks on, she still suffers from exhaustion and a mild cough. She said: “I went to a children’s party and ended up asleep in bed for the afternoon. It feels worse just before lunchtime, I suspect when my body is craving food. At lunchtime meetings I find it really hard to get my words out and to concentrate on what’s been said. I have other friends, mostly female and in their 30s and 40s who are experiencing similar things. I hear lots that rest is the best cure.”

Meanwhile, fellow journalist Carolyn Hitt said she had earache and sore eyes when she tested positive for the virus. Some people have had vision problems: “Blinding horrendous headache and double vision were the first and worst symptoms,” one person who’s had Covid told us. “Pressure felt like my eyeballs were going to pop out – [I’m] still very unwell with Long Covid two years later.”

Another said: “I’ve got Covid at the moment and my ears have been ringing for the last three or four days, nothing ridiculous just annoying!”. Another woman said: “I had severe earache and completely lost my hearing and bleeding from ears for six/seven weeks, it was awful!”

The Zoe tracker app, which has been tracking symptoms experienced by those who test positive, also mentions these additional symptoms that some people have reported alongside a Covid diagnosis:

  • delirium
  • skin rash
  • sore fingers and toes

The Zoe study says that “testing everybody experiencing any of seven key symptoms – cough, fever, loss of smell, fatigue, sore throat, headache or diarrhoea – would detect 96% of symptomatic coronavirus infections.” However, some people do not experience any of these core symptoms.

How long does Covid last?

Those with a mild case of Covid-19 usually recover in one to two weeks. For severe cases, recovery can take six weeks or more. But for some people, coronavirus can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called post-Covid-19 syndrome or “long Covid”.

The length of time need to recover is different for everybody and the chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get Covid-19. WalesOnline recently spoke to Llio Angharad from Cardiff, whose long Covid has left her needing to sleep for up to 20 hours per day. In Swansea, Debra Evans says she is still not herself over 14 months after she tested positive for coronavirus.

Symptoms of long Covid

Common long COVID symptoms include:

  • extreme tiredness
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain or tightness
  • problems with memory and concentration (“brain fog”)
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • heart palpitation
  • dizziness
  • pins and needles
  • bread seal
  • depression and anxiety
  • tinnitus, earaches
  • feeling sick, diarrhea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
  • a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
  • rashes

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