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How do Omicron's symptoms compare to other variants?

Symptoms may be mild for those who are vaccinated, but mild does not necessarily mean you have no symptoms.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As COVID continues to spread across the Mid-South, some have questions about the omicron variant’s symptoms.

Symptoms may be mild for those who are vaccinated, but mild does not necessarily mean you have no symptoms.


Some have asked, “Are there any new symptoms with omicron?”


“We only know that people have Omicron, because omicron is what is here. At the beginning when it was switching over from Delta Omicron, you know, it was a coin toss. Which one is it? But now it's mostly omicron,” said Dr. Arnold.

“Most reports that we have on the symptoms are still anecdotal,” said Dr. Prasad.

That means it varies case by case.



This is inconclusive.

There is really no answer yet as to any new symptoms from omicron. It's still evolving, and experts are learning more.


Does Omicron cause eye soreness?

“You can have sore or itchy or red eyes with respiratory viruses. So, conjunctivitis is what we call that. Not all conjunctivitis is bacterial and requires drops,” said Dr. Arnold.


We can verify that just like any other respiratory virus, COVID variants including omicron can cause your eyes to be sore.

This is true.


Are there any differences in Omicron symptoms compared to other variants?

“It's often starting with a scratchy or sore throat,” said Dr. Arnold. “A lot of people also are having congestion, runny nose, which I think we saw more with the Delta variant than we did with the original strain.”

“What we are seeing with omicron is that it is less likely to invade the lungs. Symptoms are more upper respiratory and not so much lower respiratory,” said Dr. Prasad.


Yes, while symptoms still align with a common cold, there are some differences with the omicron variant.

Dr. Prasad and Arnold said that severity all depends on a person’s vaccination status.

This is true.

“If you're not vaccinated, then the chances of you getting more sick are much higher. And vaccination remains the best way of preventing serious illness. The role for vaccines is not to prevent all illness, it is to prevent serious illness,” said Dr. Prasad.

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