Omicron, Delta, cold, flu…: here’s how to tell them apart if you feel sick

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Distinguishing between these viruses is not easy, many of us tend to confuse them. Here’s how to see more clearly.

Omicron and the common cold

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Since its appearance in November 2021, it has been said to be more contagious, but less dangerous. On the side of the experts, we are still cautious. In fact, it has already been observed that an infection with the Omicron variant resembles a cold, which is why many people confuse them. However, one symptom would be specific to Omicron and should alert: night sweats.

Omicron and Delta

With the Delta variant, most infected patients suffered from fever, loss of taste and smell. This is clearly not or almost not the case with Omicron, according to the professor of general medicine at the VUB Dirk Devroey, interviewed by our colleagues from the Last Hour.

The fact that the latter is considered less dangerous than its predecessor is also due to the fact that the infection is limited to the upper respiratory tract, and therefore causes less breathing difficulties.

Omicron and the flu

If Omicron causes night sweats and generally muscle pain, these are also typical flu symptoms, not to mention the usual headaches, sore throats, fatigue… So how do you tell them apart? “In principle with the flu we also have temperature (according to the definition of Sciensano), which we see very little with the last mutant of Covid-19”, specifies the dean of the VUB to our colleagues.


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