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Yes, the symptoms of the omicron variant are similar to other strains of COVID-19

There are still a lot of unknowns surrounding this new variant, but doctors believe it has similar aspects to the other variants we have seen.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in more than a dozen states so far, but it has yet to be found in North Carolina or South Carolina. 

Health experts say that's likely to change, but there are still a lot of unknowns about the new variant. Doctors believe omicron has similar aspects to the other variants we've seen, including the more-contagious delta variant. 

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THE QUESTION:

Are the symptoms of the omicron variant similar to other strains of COVID-19?

OUR SOURCES:   

THE ANSWER: 

This is true.

Yes, the symptoms of the omicron variant are similar to other strains of COVID-19. However, the severity of those symptoms is still unknown. 

WHAT WE FOUND: 

According to the CDC, the World Health Organization first reported omicron on Nov. 24. The variant was first discovered in South Africa, and the first case in the U.S. was confirmed on Dec. 1. 

Priest said while it's a new variant, omicron is still a strain of COVID-19, which is a respiratory illness. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, chills, shortness of breath, fatigue and headache, just to name a few. 

"There will be similar symptomatology fever aches and headaches and all the things with COVID," Priest said. 

Robinson and Passaretti agree.  

"We are seeing very similar presentations in terms of the same upper respiratory type of infection," Robinson said. 

"I suspect similar to what we see with other respiratory viruses," Passaretti said. 

However, all three doctors said it's still unknown how bad these symptoms can get. 

"The most important question is the severity of illness with omicron," Passaretti said. "Whether that differs in a good way, less severe or a very bad way, where it causes more severe illness, we are working hard to figure that out."

 Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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