Is the Omicron COVID variant less severe than Delta?

By alina bozo

  • How did we discover?

  • What was the method we used to conduct our study?

  • What are the signs different?

  • How does this affect you?

  • Why is it that Omicron manifestations less severe?

  • What experts will have to share

  • What does this mean to me?


Since it was first discovered in December 2021 Omicron has been spotted in more than 80 countries and is now the most prevalent COVID-19 variant in the world and has taken over the Delta variant, which has symptoms that are more like those of a cold.

What do we learn?

Through contribution to ZOE COVID Study application, we've been able run one of biggest global studies of the way that these symptoms in Omicron contrast with Delta. Delta.

We discovered that those with the Omicron illness are more likely suffer from sore throats, and less likely to suffer from loss of smell compared with Delta.

Our research team from ZOE as well as King's College London also found that the Omicron variant is associated with a lower likelihood of hospitalization as well as a shorter duration of illness in the vaccineed population than the previous variants.

What was the method we used to conduct our study?

The latest study was published on the 7th of April within the Lancet. The study looked into the symptoms of 62,002 participants who were vaccinated from the U.K. from the ZOE COVID Study App that tested positive between June 1 and November 27 2021, a time in which Delta prevailed, and between December 20-21 and January 17 2022, during which Omicron was dominant.

What are the differences between symptoms?

The results show that the time span of symptoms from COVID-19 was significantly smaller (6.87 days against 8.89 days) and patients are less likely need hospitalization when they had the Omicron variant, compared to Delta. Delta variant.

The most noticeable variation between the two variants was the distinction in the loss of smell, an atypical symptom in earlier variants. It is currently only seen in less than 20% of cases, and is often seen within a few days of the onset of symptoms.

Two symptoms that were more common in Omicron as compared to Delta instances (regardless of the status of vaccination) included sore throats and hoarse voice.

There are other symptoms that can be more serious such as eyestrain, brain fog, headaches, fever All of them were significantly less common when it came to Omicron cases, but they still can occur.

Researchers find that Omicron is detected less often within the respiratory system of the lower lobe which is where infections can trigger more severe symptoms, requiring patients to hospitals and Omicron symptoms don't persist as long for vaccinated individuals.


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Who are the people who are directly affected?

Even though everyone has the chance of getting COVID We found that the symptoms from an Omicron infection do not persist as long in those who have been vaccinated as they do in the non-vaccinated population.

This further supports the notion that the fact that vaccination, despite being created before Omicron can still help stop the onset of long-lasting symptoms for patients who are affected.

With a shorter time-span of symptoms for the vaccinated group, this suggests that the duration of incubation and time of infectivity for Omicron could be also shorter.

This will impact future workplace health guidelines and could be a key element in the public health guidelines shared with the U.K. premier concerning the lifting of isolation restrictions.

What is the reason Omicron symptoms less serious?

While more research is required, Omicron is likely less dangerous than Delta -both in terms the severity of symptoms and the amount of hospitalizations due to the fact that Delta is more effective at being able to infect lung cells more effectively as opposed to Omicron that infects other mucosal cell types.

While Omicron seems to be more transmissible than the previous variations, our research suggests that Omicron has less severe symptoms in the various organs that are more impacted by Delta.

Additionally, a recently investigation in vitro revealed that Omicron reproduces more quickly than other COVID variants found in the respiratory tract of the upper (which is composed of cells similar to the ones that reside inside the throat) This variant is very slow in replicating in the alveoli that are deep inside the lungs.

Therefore, Omicron appears to enter human cells via an entirely different pathway than other alternatives.

Alveolar damage diffuse (damage caused to the specific lung tissue) is the most common form of lung disease that is severe for COVID-19 sufferers. The results from in vitro studies confirm the lower intensity of symptoms that were observed within our investigation.

What do scientists have to say about the science

Dr. Cristina Menni, from King's College London Dr. Cristina Menni, from King's College London

"We notice a distinct clinical manifestation of symptoms in patients affected by Omicron in comparison to Delta. In addition, as we move more away from common patient with U.K. government "approved symptoms," i.e. the persistent cough, fever and loss of smell our findings suggest an array of different symptoms that could indicate an infection. To safeguard yourself and others It is essential to isolate yourself for five days from the moment you notice any signs ."

Tim Spector, lead scientist for the ZOE COVID Study and professor of King's College London, said:

"It's an incredible scientific achievement that, in just a few months after Omicron began to take hold within the U.K., the teams at KCL and ZOE have produced quick and conclusive responses to these critical questions about symptom and the severity. It is thanks to the loyal users of ZOE COVID Study app. ZOE COVID Study application that ZOE is capable of providing information on a scale that was previously unimaginable prior to the outbreak which has established ZOE's COVID Study and its method as the best methods to monitor this epidemic and any subsequent ones. ."

Prof. Ana Valdes, an honorary professor at King's College London, added:

"Although there's an array of severity and duration of symptoms that can be associated with Omicron however, in those who have been vaccinated we have observed a shorter time frame for symptoms. This suggests that the incubation period and the duration of infectivity for Omicron could be shorter and has had an impact on the workplace health policy and public health guidelines. ."

What is this all about to me?

While Omicron's symptoms are not as serious than Delta or the other COVID-19 variants there could still be the risk of COVID or illness, particularly in the population that is more at risk.

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Chunmin Nobita - says
They must be emotionally and physically strong, and able to be unaffected by what they see, whether in the past or in the future. @foodle

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