You could HEAR the very first warning sign of Omicron before you feel ill

OMICRON symptoms are coming on faster than Delta, it appears.

There are a few telltale signs that you might have the mutant strain – but you may be able HEAR the first symptom before you feel ill.

If people are commenting on the fact that your voice sounds croaky, and you haven't been shouting and singing, it might be time to take a lateral flow.

You might even notice that you sound a little huskier and deeper than usual.

This could be because you are experiencing a scratchy throat – one of the first symptoms of Omicron, according to experts.

Doctors have said patients don't seem to be suffering with sore throats, as Delta sometimes presents with, but scratchy throats.

During a briefing last week, Chief executive of Discovery Health, South Africa’s largest private health insurer, Ryan Roach, said it was the most common symptom Omicron patients are facing.

This is usually followed by nasal congestion, he said, with other common symptoms including a dry cough and pain in the lower back.

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A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.

A booster shot is the best protection against Omicron, with early data suggesting it pushes efficacy back up to 75 per cent.

The Sun's Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits' arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.

Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA Chief Executive said: “Once again, we urge everyone who is able to get a booster jab to come forward and do so. It is the best defence we have against this highly transmissible new variant."

Both lower back pain and a scratchy throat haven't been reported as symptoms with other variants.

Going by reports from cases in the UK, South Africa and US, these are common early warning signs of Omicron:

  • Runny nose/congestion
  • Headache
  • Fatigue 
  • Sneezing
  • Night sweats
  • Body aches 

While the NHS states that a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell are signs of Covid, many patients have also experienced a sore throat.

The ZOE Covid Symptom Study app has shown that a sore throat is among the most frequently reported symptoms, in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Tim Spector, the leading researcher on the study, presented a YouTube video in which he asked viewers to report exactly how their sore throat feels. 

He said: “We are getting a messages that the sore throat people are getting with Covid is a bit unusual, it’s not like they’ve seen it before. 

“Maybe in a different place, or it feels differently.

“We might be doing some more research on that to see if we can distinguish these Covid type symptoms from the ones of a normal cold virus.”

Some experts say if you feel unwell, regardless of the symptoms, it is worth getting tested.

If you have a positive lateral flow test, the NHS says “get a PCR test to confirm your result as soon as possible”.

But some experts are saying that at the moment, even if your lateral flow is negative, it's worth isolating if you have symptoms.

These tests can be delivered to your home for free or picked up in pharmacies, some schools and workplaces. 

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