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Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Dr Angelica L Dumapit and Physician Brandon Yew on October 26, 2022

How To Detect Omicron Symptoms From Other Variants

Despite being milder in nature, omicron symptoms can show up 90 days after your initial infection if you catch COVID-19 again. Here's how to ease symptoms and boost your body's defenses.

Loss of smell min scaled

Omicron symptoms have spread like wildfire since surfacing last November. Since then, several subvariants have come out.

A strain called BA.5 emerged in August of 2022 and is the most contagious so far, making up over 88% of COVID-19 cases in the United States. Another subvariant, BA.4.6, makes up for 11-13% of cases.

The latest variant to reach the United States is XBB, which is a hybrid of the BA.2.75 and BJ.1 sub-variants. Data is still being gathered about this variant, but it appears to dodge antibodies and produce mild symptoms.

With so many subvariants of COVID-19 and omicron popping up, it can be hard to know which variant you have. This makes it even harder to treat your symptoms.

Read on to learn how to identify omicron symptoms from other subvariants of COVID-19. We’ll also provide tips for helping you manage them using holistic remedies.

What Are Omicron Symptoms?

Omicron symptoms include fatigue, body aches, cough, sore throat, and runny nose.

The original omicron strain of COVID-19 presented milder symptoms of the virus. It caused fewer deaths and less disease than delta, the strain that preceded it.

Health experts state that symptoms of BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants are similar to the original omicron strain. The only difference is that it’s much more contagious.

Omicron symptoms may include:

Health experts also note that loss of smell and taste was not as common as it was in the earlier alpha and delta strains. However, these symptoms seem to have returned with the spread of BA.4 and BA.5.

Who Is Most At Risk For Omicron Symptoms?

Although omicron symptoms appear to be milder than they were last year, health experts state that it appears to affect the young and otherwise healthy most. It’s also common among those who are fully vaccinated.

According to Dr. Craig Spencer, Director of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, people who have been vaccinated but have not had boosters may experience more coughing, fevers, and fatigue than those with boosters.

Additionally, because BA.5 is so contagious, it appears to avoid the body’s immune system. This means that people are more likely to become reinfected with the strain, especially if it has been 90 days since their last infection.

Tips For Managing Omicron Symptoms

Adding immune-boosting foods and herbs to your diet can help ward off reinfections.

Despite producing milder symptoms, it’s easy to become infected with omicron more than once as it appears to be more contiguous and able to dodge the body’s defenses. For this reason, it’s helpful to find natural ways to boost your immunity and manage potentially reoccurring symptoms.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help you manage omicron symptoms at home. It aims to strengthen the body’s defense system, which can further reduce complications from omicron symptoms.

According to TCM Physician Brandon Yew, “From a TCM perspective, the level of risk of omicron infection depends on the person’s unique body constitution. This is characterized by varying specific imbalances, such as the kind of pathogens or type of Deficiencies present in the body. The more significant the imbalance of the person, the weaker their immunity, and the greater the risk of infection.” 

“Essentially, TCM can help address the imbalances to strengthen the body’s constitution and immunity through herbal medication, acupuncture, cupping, guasha (scraping), moxibustion, tuina (Chinese manual therapy), and blood-letting. These are carefully formulated by the TCM physician to address specifically the unique body constitution of every individual patient,” stated Physician Yew.

Herbal remedies

Below listed are some herbal formulas that dispel exogenous Wind, Cold, Fire, and Dampness pathogens to relieve omicron symptoms: 

  • Yin Qiao San
  • Sang Ju Yin
  • Fang Feng Tong Sheng San
  • Xiao Chai Hu Tang
  • Chai Ge Jie Ji Tang
  • Gan Lu Xiao Du Dan
  • Ge Gen Qin Lian Tang
  • Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San
  • Sang Bai Pi Tang
  • Qing Jin Hua Tan Tang
  • Huang Lian Shang Qing Pian

Kang Du Qing Fei pills can help manage omicron symptoms during infection, such as fever, sore throat, runny nose, and cough. It also helps improve immunity and disease resistance. Other immune-boosting supplements you can take include Cordyceps, Lingzhi, and bird’s nest.

“Please always remember that the herbal formulas provided above are meant for varying pathological states of omicron, corresponding to different body constitutions characterized by specific underlying imbalances. As such, it is strongly advised to not purchase any of them to self-medicate without first consulting a certified TCM professional,” stated Physician Yew.

Acupressure

Acupressure is an easy self-help remedy you can do by placing fingers or a blunt object like a massage stick at specific acupoints. Then apply an appropriate amount of pressure to elicit a tolerable sensation of soreness or tenderness. At the same time, massage in both clockwise and anticlockwise circular motion 20 times each. Repeat for at least 3 minutes per acupoint.

Acupoints that help relieve omicron symptoms are: 

  • To relieve fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle ache: Bai Hui (DU20), Tai Yang (EX-HN5), Qu Chi (LI11), Yang Ling Quan (GB34), Yu Ji (LU10), He Gu (LI4), Wai Guan (SJ5), Nei Guan (PC6), Yin Ling Quan (SP9), Zu San Li (ST36), Tai Chong (LR3), and Feng Long (ST40)
  • To relieve respiratory symptoms: Tian Tu (RN22), Dan Zhong (RN17), Yu Ji (LU10), He Gu (LI4), Wai Guan (SJ5), and Nei Guan (PC6)
  • To relieve gastro symptoms: Zhong Wan (RN12), Tian Shu (ST25), He Gu (LI4), Wai Guan (SJ5), Nei Guan (PC6), Yin Ling Quan (SP9), Zu San Li (ST36), Shang Ju Xu (ST37), and Feng Long (ST40)

“Do take note that the effect of acupressure is quite limited towards mild symptoms. It is meant to supplement acupuncture, which provides a much stronger and more comprehensive therapeutic efficacy in tackling the actual pathology of the infection and root imbalances of the person. Thus, it is still strongly recommended to seek professional help from a certified TCM practitioner who can perform acupuncture safely and effectively,” concluded Physician Yew.

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