The Omicron Covid variant has spread to London and the rest of the UK at an alarming rate, raising fears that stricter measures will soon be imposed in an effort to control the virus.
And now scientists are urging people to look for a distinctive new symptom related to the Omicron variant that appears when you sleep.
Dr Amir Khan said doctors in South Africa – the country where the variant was first detected – found that patients with Omicron suffered from night sweats while sleeping, Wales Online reports.
READ MORE: Everything We Know About A Possible Christmas Lockdown
Speaking to ITV’s Lorraine, Dr Khan explained that patients also experienced body aches, fatigue, fever and a dry cough.
Dr Khan said: “The symptoms coming out of South Africa by doctors caring for patients with Omicron show these five new symptoms.
“A scratchy throat, mild muscle pain, extreme fatigue, a dry cough and night sweats. That kind of heavy night sweats where you might have to get up and change clothes.
“And that’s important. It’s important that we stay on top of these symptoms, because if we’re going to keep track of Omicron here and around the world, we need to be able to test people with these symptoms.”
Dr Khan added that the symptoms are milder in people who are vaccinated.
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The main symptoms of the coronavirus are a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, and a loss or change in your sense of smell or taste.
The news comes after SAGE scientists warned that ‘Plan B’ measures alone would not be enough to stop the variant from ravaging the NHS – and recommended closing indoor pubs and canceling overcrowded events .
Stricter measures could be imposed after Boxing Day, according to an article in The Sun, according to which the contingency plan had not yet been presented to ministers.
These could include limits on the mix of households, indoor meetings, table service only in pubs, and the number of people allowed in stores.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Sunday ministers discuss the latest coronavirus data almost hourly with science advisers, and said the government “will do what is necessary” when asked about possible additional measures.
He told Trevor Phillips on Sky News on Sunday: “We have shown in the past as a government in the face of this pandemic that we will do what is necessary, but it has to be backed up by the data.”
He added, “We are monitoring the data and discussing it with our scientists and top advisers almost every hour. And we will be watching this very carefully. We will keep the situation under review. “
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