AUSTIN (KXAN) — A large study of vaccinated people in the United Kingdom found symptoms of the omicron variant were different, and overall less severe, than the delta variant. Right now, BA.5, a subvariant of the omicron variant, is the most prevalent in Texas’ region.

The study, first published in the Lancet, asked more than 60,000 people about their symptoms using the ZOE COVID app. Those people had all tested positive for COVID-19 both during the delta wave and the omicron wave.

Researchers found fewer people, only roughly 20%, lost their sense of smell when they had omicron. That was commonly reported during the delta surge and earlier strains of COVID-19. The most common symptom reported for both the delta and omicron surge was a sore throat.

That research matches what a physician on the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 task force told us he’s seeing in his COVID-19 patients right now.

“It’s the scratchy throat, the rhinitis, that runny nose, itchy eyes, a general feeling of unwell, what we’d call malaise or lethargy,” said Dr. Ogechika Alozie. He said many of the patients he’s seeing found they had COVID-19 through routine testing for work.

Other commonly reported symptoms of BA.5 include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Congestion
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Cough

Researchers found people experienced symptoms for a shorter period of time, roughly 7 days instead of 9, and that fewer people were hospitalized with omicron. The study pointed to vaccines, but also said omicron itself was less severe.

“This is further evidence to suggest that vaccination, in spite of being developed prior to Omicron, still helps to prevent long-lasting symptoms in those who are infected,” a blog the company published about the report said.