Suffering from runny nose? How to know if it's Omicron or common cold; expert answers

Published on Dec 12, 2021 02:41 PM IST
  • Runny nose is among common symptoms of Omicron. An expert on what to do if you have flu-like symptoms.
So, what should one ideally do if they have a runny nose - wait for a few days or get tested for Covid-19 immediately?(Shutterstock)
So, what should one ideally do if they have a runny nose - wait for a few days or get tested for Covid-19 immediately?(Shutterstock)

With Omicron cases rising to 33 in India, people are once again fearing yet another Covid wave. Omicron, the latest strain of concern, is said to be more infectious but less ferocious than delta as far as severity of the disease and mortality is concerned. So far, the patients infected by it including vaccinated ones have exhibited mild symptoms.

The best way to tackle Omicron is vaccination and SMS - social distancing, mask-wearing and sanitisation of hands, say experts. Some of the common symptoms of Omicron are cough, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose. 

Considering people infected by Omicron are showing flu like symptoms like runny nose, stuffy nose, body ache, fever, head ache with no lost sense of smell or taste, people should be all the more careful considering common cold cases are also on rise in winter season in India. People may not get tested thinking they have common cold, while they actually have Covid-19, and put vulnerable group at risk.

ALSO READ: Will Omicron be as deadly as Delta? Virologist on symptoms, prevention and scare around the new strain

So, what should one ideally do if they have a runny nose - wait for a few days or get tested for Covid-19 immediately? Here's what an expert has to say.

"At the moment when there is a new variant, we should not be taking it easy and if we have any kind of cold or flu like symptoms and body ache, you should consult your doctor and get tested, especially if you have history of travel. If you went to a marriage or same place where people could be infected, you should be getting yourself tested. But yes, if you have frequent history of allergies and you are sneezing frequently during mornings and throughout the day, but do not have any kind of fever or body ache, then you can take a day to see if the symptoms settle down," says Dr. Viny Kantroo, Consultant Respiratory, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in a YouTube LIVE session.

The doctor also said that getting double vaccination is the best way to reduce odds of a severe disease or mortality due to Covid-19.

"The best thing to prevent or treat this disease remains vaccination and SMS. If you are vaccinated, any kind of variant that comes into picture is not going to be so ferocious because you still have some kind of immunity which includes T-cell immunity," the expert said.

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