Omicron vs. delta: Study examines difference between two coronavirus variant symptoms

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO JAN 14, 2022: A health worker checks results of persons that underwent an antigen test at Plaza Forum after increase cases of Covid-19 Omicron variant infection in Mexico City. The government reinstalled the macro tents to test fo

A recent study evaluated the differences between omicron and delta variant symptoms using data collected in December 2021 from a UK COVID infection survey.

Analysis from the study is based on 182,133 omicron cases and 87,920 delta cases in England. The study, led by Oxford University and the Office for National Statistics, examined people who tested positive for COVID-19. 

The individuals were asked if they had COVID-19 symptoms including sore throat, fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, loss of smell or taste, and loss of appetite.

According to the study, a sore throat was commonly reported by the omicron virus cases. A loss of smell and taste was less common among omicron cases compared to delta variant cases. People who tested negative for COVID-19 were not included in the data.

The omicron variant is at least twice as contagious as delta and at least four times as contagious as the original version of the coronavirus. 

Omicron is more likely than delta to reinfect individuals who previously had COVID-19 and to cause "breakthrough infections" in vaccinated people while also attacking the unvaccinated. On Jan. 15, The World Health Organization previously reported a record 15 million new COVID-19 cases for the week of Jan. 3-9, a 55% increase from the previous week, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. officials continue to urge people to get vaccinated and receive booster shots. Wearing masks when among strangers indoors is another precaution officials believe can help protect against the variant delta and other variants.

To stop variants from emerging, scientists emphasize the need to wear masks and get vaccinated. While omicron is better able to avoid immunity than delta, experts stated, vaccines still offer protection, and booster shots lower serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths.

The Associated Press and FOX29 Philadelphia contributed to this story.

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.