RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Researchers in the United Kingdom are parsing out how the omicron variant of the coronavirus impacts patients. Using a symptom reporting app, they’re working on differentiating symptoms of the new strain.

To differentiate between symptoms of the delta variant and omicron, researchers with the ZOE COVID Study took the symptoms from a week when delta was dominant and compared to the most recent data when omicron began to take over.

Researchers found the early symptoms, three days after a test, were similar between the delta and omicron. 

It may be hard to tell whether you have the omicron variant or just a plain cold. The top five symptoms recorded were:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Fatigue (either mild or severe)
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat

Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app, said “As our latest data shows, omicron symptoms are predominantly cold symptoms, runny nose, headache, sore throat and sneezing, so people should stay at home as it might well be COVID.”

Researchers also noted they are seeing double to triple the mild infections in people with boosters in omicron areas as they did in delta variant areas. But the author added vaccines “are still very protective and a vital weapon.”

More research is needed before scientists determine whether omicron truly results in more mild infection or if it’s the vaccines that are keeping people from developing more severe infections.