Feeling pain in 3 key body parts could be a stealth sign you have Omicron


YOU would be forgiven for thinking that aches and pains were “nothing to be feared”.

But as the pandemic has continued, it has become clear that there are signs of Covid that can be missed.

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Aches and pains could be a sign of OmicronCredit: Alamy

The NHS still lists a new persistent cough, loss of taste and smell and a high temperature as the three classic warning signs of Covid.

However, symptoms like runny nose, sore throat and fatigue are familiar to those who have had the virus.

As new variants of the virus emerged and vaccinations were rolled out, symptoms changed over time.

Omicron is the most dominant strain of Covid in the UK at present – and has been shown to be milder than other variants, particularly in vaccinees.

Covid booster shots protect against Omicron and offer the best chance of getting through the pandemic, health officials have said repeatedly.

But experts say if you’re not feeling well at all, it’s best to take these lateral flow tests to check you don’t have the virus.

You may experience pain throughout your body during Covid infection.

Dr Charu Dutt Arora, of the Asian Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital in Faridabad, India, explained that the virus “activates pain receptors in the body”.

Covid-19 infection stimulates the release of a hormone called cytokines, which causes inflammation.

Dr Arora told the Indian Express: “Cytokines lead to the formation of a prostaglandin called E2, which activates all the pain receptors in the body.

“It’s like a prostaglandin E2 cytokine signaling pathway that activates the pain pathway more. That’s why those three areas hurt during Covid-19.

Among the unusual symptoms to look out for, those that can cause pain are:

  • Lower back pain
  • Headache
  • knee pain

Lower back pain

Lower back pain was named as a feature of Omicron in December 2021 when it first appeared in South Africa.

It took a while for research to confirm the odd sign.

Now, the ZOE COVID Symptom Study lists lower back pain as one of the top 20 symptoms of the virus today.

It has been reported by 20% of people using the app who have a positive Covid test.

Headache

If you wake up with a severe headache for no apparent reason, don’t be surprised if it turns out to be Covid.

The ZOE study also reveals that headaches are very common in people with Covid, affecting around 67% of people with the virus.

If you have a headache alone, there could be many other explanations.

But if combined with a general feeling of “despite the weather”, or symptoms such as sneezing and fatigue, it could very well be Covid.

knee pain

Muscle pain is certainly not unheard of when it comes to Covid disease.

And Dr Arora says it’s “mainly around the knee area”.

Muscle pain is thought to be the result of inflammation that can be felt through ligaments and joints.

Peter Whang, a Yale Medicine orthopedic spine surgeon and associate professor at Yale University School of Medicine, also told the Huffington Post that much of the pain from Covid is felt around soft tissues and joints.

But experts aren’t sure why this appears to be a feature of Omicron more than older strains of the virus.

The most common symptoms of Omicron

If you catch Covid, it’s impossible to guess which of the dozens of symptoms may strike.

But the most common are:

  • Runny nose (74%)
  • Headaches (67%)
  • Sore throat (64%)
  • Fatigue (64%)
  • Sneezing (60%)
  • Persistent cough (42%)
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