COVID-19 is rapidly spreading in the U.S., with nearly 88% of the population living in a location with medium or high transmission rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It is important for those at higher risk — namely older individuals and those with underlying medical conditions — to stay safe. The omicron has a tendency to sneak up on people, which makes taking precautions harder.

“My son had no symptoms,” Shira Shafir, an associate professor of epidemiology at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, told the Los Angeles Times.

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“We only tested him because my mother was coming to visit — and thank goodness we did, because otherwise my mother would have been exposed and in all certainty would have gotten infected.”

Shafir tested positive the next day, and, subsequently, so did her husband. The couple is fully vaccinated and boosted, as is their son.

What are signs you might have had an omicron infection without knowing it?

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The Shafirs' case is also a great example of what to do when in doubt. Dr. Mark Fischer, Regional Medical Director at International SOS, also stressed how important testing is.

“The best way to know if you’ve had COVID is with a positive COVID test result or a positive antibody test result," he said, listing out three signs a person may have already had COVID-19 and not know about it:

  • The infection is asymptomatic.
  • The infection is mild and the symptoms were attributed to other issues.
  • The flu and allergies look similar to COVID-19.

What are the top 4 omicron symptoms?

As I previously reported, omicron subvariants have a shorter incubation period, which is why the symptoms may appear earlier. The worst symptom for BA.5 is a “throat on fire,” said UCSF’s Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.

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The most common omicron-related symptoms are:

  • Cough.
  • Fatigue.
  • Congestion.
  • Runny nose.
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