Nearly 56% of people infected with the omicron variant circulating in the latest wave of Covid-19 don’t know they caught it, a recent Cedars-Sinai study found.
“One in two people with Omicron disease don’t know they have it,” Susan Cheng, director of the Department of Cardiology’s Healthy Aging Research Institute, said in a statement Wednesday. Author of the study.
Previous studies have estimated that at least 25% and up to 80% of those infected may show no symptoms of the virus.
Remember that the Omicron variant usually has more severe symptoms, such as fatigue, cough, headache, sore throat, or runny nose.
“The results of our study add to the evidence that undiagnosed infections may increase the spread of the virus,” said Sandy Y. Jong, a Cedars-Sinai researcher and first author of the study. “Low infection awareness may have contributed to Omicron’s rapid spread.”
The researchers relied on collecting samples from healthcare workers and patients for nearly two years.
“People read these results and think, ‘I was at a rally where someone tested positive,’ or ‘I’m starting to feel a little sick.’ Cheng said.