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Doctors seeing new COVID-19 symptoms with Omicron variant

Doctors say some of the most reported symptoms for the Omicron strain of COVID-19 have shifted from the original symptoms.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Doctors say they're seeing a slight shift in COVID-19 symptoms as more people are diagnosed with the Omicron variant.

From the beginning, people with coronavirus were experiencing fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. 

While it is still common for patients to have those symptoms, Dr. Patricia Williams, family medicine provider with Novant Health, said they're seeing more upper respiratory symptoms rather than lower respiratory. 

For example, most COVID patients she sees have a sore throat, cough, runny nose, and headache.

"Predominantly, my biggest complaint is a sore throat or scratchy throat," Dr. Williams said.

However, with the Omicron variant, Dr. Williams said more patients have been experiencing gastrointestinal system symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

No matter the symptom, Dr. Williams emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated. 

"Those who are vaccinated are showing a much better outcome, much fewer symptoms, much better symptoms and tolerable than those who are unvaccinated," Dr. Williams said.

She said occasionally, someone will also complain of night sweats or lower back pain.

As doctors treat COVID, pediatricians are also busy with everything else circulating. With kids back in school, Dr. Williams said they're seeing more cases of the flu as well as strep throat.

Kids with COVID have symptoms that mimic bronchiolitis or the croup, according to Dr. Williams.

"We still need to exercise those precautions we've been preaching all along, masking, handwashing, social distancing," Dr. Williams said.

Because there are so many illnesses going around, it's best to stay home if you can to avoid spreading any sickness.


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