September 26, 2023


Bronchitis to fatigue, here are some latest symptoms of new Omicron subvariants that may persist much longer than earlier strains.

A series of highly-infectious new Omicron sub-variants are spreading fast across the country stoking fear of a fresh Coronavirus wave in India. Omicron XBB – a recombinant of BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 sub lineages has driven the latest surge in infections. Coronavirus seems to have evolved over the period of time and the symptoms of new Omicron subvariants are slightly different from the original Omicron.

The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) recently noted that Indian patients infected with Omicron sub-lineage XBB of Covid-19 have symptoms of mild disease and there has been no increase in severity. While people are advised to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, they are urged not to panic.

The new Omicron subvariants are highly transmissible as they are able to evade the immunity of previous infections and even fully vaccinated people may get affected by them. This means that the cases of reinfections can go up too. Headache, dry cough, blocked nose, fatigue, dizziness, body ache are all symptoms caused by Omicron variants.


Dr Sonam Solanki, Consultant Pulmonologist and Bronchoscopist, Masina Hospital, Mumbai in a telephonic interview told us that the symptoms of new Omicron subvariants – even though mild – are lasting for longer duration, even weeks.

“The new subvariant is quite infectious but it is showing mild symptoms. Even though the symptoms are mild, patients may remain symptomatic for a longer time,” says Dr Solanki.

The Omicron symptoms that are persisting are:

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– a chronic cough or bronchitis which persists after upper respiratory infection is seen

– fatigue is predominant

Dr Solanki says that even though the symptoms are self-limiting, patients do tend to stay symptomatic for a couple of weeks.

On the possibility of a fresh wave driven by the new variants, experts say it’s is likely.

“There are chances of another wave of Covid-19 due to this variant in India as well. As the festive season is on (in) full swing, people are gathering in large numbers and there are no travel restrictions, the variant can spread to the Indian population in next 3-4 weeks. Since the flu season and incoming winters are also approaching, the cases with congestion, sore throat and runny nose are expected to rise,” Dr Charu Dutt Arora, Consultant Physician and Infectious Disease Specialist, Head, Ameri Health, Asian Hospital, Faridabad had earlier told us.

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