In the first few days, lateral flow tests are MISSING Omicron, according to a top doc.
In the first few days of infection, lateral flow tests are missing Omicron, according to a South African doctor.
Dr. Angelique Coetzee, president of the South African Medical Association, believes that the rapid Covid tests don't always detect the variant.
"The rapid test is still showing false negatives in the early period," she told a Science and Technology Committee today.
"We have patients who have waited a week and still have a headache, so they do PCR and it comes back positive."
Dr Susan Hopkins, the head of the UK Health Security Agency, reassured MPs that lateral flow tests can detect the mutant variant.
"Lateral flow devices will detect both asymptomatic and symptomatic infection," she said.
"They've been used very effectively in the UK population for almost a year now."
"What we know is that compared to PCR, it will detect about 50% of cases, but it will detect about 80% or even more of people who have high levels of virus and are thus at the highest risk of transmitting to others."
"Our strong public health recommendation is that if people are going out to socialize, they should do lateral flow before going to reduce the risk of entering the venue with an asymptomatic infection and thus transmitting to others."
"Again, the public health advice is to take a lateral flow before going out to socialize right now, and we would recommend that," she continued.
People in the UK have been urged to get their booster shots as soon as possible to avoid contracting the new strain.
According to new data from Sage, a government advisory group, two Covid vaccines can reduce the risk of dying from Omicron by up to 84 percent.
However, the models also showed that if you have a booster, your chances of simply catching the virus and becoming ill are cut in half.
According to the most recent research, boosters can protect you from Omicron infection by up to 75%.
According to UKHSA figures, immunity from two AstraZeneca doses was close to zero after six months, but protection from the super-strain rocket was as high as 70% with a third dose from Pfizer.
Brits have been warned to keep an eye out for new symptoms that aren't the same as the classic Covid symptoms.
Many people who test positive for Omicron report having night sweats.
Patients do not appear to be suffering from sore throats, as Delta can cause, but rather scratchy throats, according to doctors.
New cases of the Omicron variant are causing mostly mild symptoms, with patients suffering from flu-like illnesses, according to South African doctors who have seen the majority of cases so far.
"The symptoms are very similar for most of the patients," Dr. Coetzee said.
"Unvaccinated patients appear to have more severe myalgia as well as a more intense headache than our vaccinated patients."
She said the most common symptoms as the variant infected more people were fatigue, mild muscle aches, a dry cough, and a scratchy throat.
Patients with Omicron do not appear to be losing their sense of taste or smell, which was a common symptom of previous Covid infections.
Boris Johnson confirmed the first death in the UK from the Omicron variant yesterday morning.
The UKHSA discovered ten patients with the mutated strain in English hospitals, aged 18 to 85, with the majority having received two vaccinations.