The omicron variant of the coronavirus is emerging in the United States. It comes at a time when the flu and colds are also common across the country, raising questions about how to distinguish each of the diseases.
Former Detroit health director Dr Abdul El-Sayed recently told CNN that there is an easy way to tell the difference.
He said think about your risk of exposure – if you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, your symptoms could be COVID-19.
- Loss of smell and loss of taste are specific symptoms of COVID-19 that often mean you are infected with the coronavirus.
- The omicron variant often causes headaches.
Dr. Lisa Barrett, an infectious disease specialist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, told Yahoo! News that a COVID-19 test can help you determine the difference between the common cold and COVID-19. This corresponds to what El-Sayed said.
- “Once you start to experience these symptoms… it’s worth isolating yourself and having a few tests,” he said.
- But, he said, don’t test immediately. Once you have symptoms, test one day, then test another day.
It is not surprising that some currently confuse COVID-19 with the common cold, as the omicron variant exhibits symptoms just like the common cold. Why? Researchers published a study in early December in OSF Preprints which found that the omicron variant had a genetic makeup similar to that of the common cold.