Omicron: Different symptoms to look out for in children

A UK GP has offered advice to parents on how Omicron symptoms could show in children amid a surge in covid-related school absences.

Dr Laurence Dorman is a GP at a family surgery, as well and Chair of the Royal College of Practitioners in Northern Ireland.

He has explained the symptoms he sees most often in children who have contracted the virus, Belfast Live reports.

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There has been no official information on any differing symptoms with this new strain of covid.

The three main symptoms of coronavirus outlined by the NHS are a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell.

If you have any of these symptoms you should take a test immediately in order to avoid spreading the virus.

Children under 5 do not need to take a PCR or a LFT, even if they have Covid-19 symptoms.

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They can take a test if a doctor advises it, or if a parent believes a test is absolutely necessary and in the best interests of a child.

Explaining Omicron symptoms in children, Dr Dorman drew from his experience working as a GP and warned of tiredness, headache and a high temperature.

He said: "The symptoms are different in children and with this new variant, some people are reporting more coryza, the medical term for cold-like symptoms, rather than flu.

"Coryza is more runny noses and less serious symptoms whereas we know from the very first Alpha wave that people were presenting with more classic flu symptoms and were aching and sore.

"It's very difficult with children as temperatures can be quite common in that age group. The big thing we ask people to do is to trust their instincts. Parents know their children well and they know when they're not well.

"The guidelines are still the same in terms of symptoms – a high temperature, new continuous cough or a loss of taste and smell. While some of these have changed, it's worth keeping track of them.

"What we do particularly encourage is that people keep a high level of suspicion, especially if they have vulnerable family members."

Vulnerable primary school children in the UK are expected to be offered a low-dose Covid-19 vaccine from late January.

Last month, government vaccine advisors said five to 11-year-olds with an underlying health condition should receive two doses, eight weeks apart.

They also advised vaccination for those five to 11-year-olds who are household contacts of people who are immunosuppressed.

A decision on vaccinating all children in this age range has not yet been made.

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