New mutationsThe recent arrival of the new Omicron sub-variant BA.2 highlights that Covid-19 has not finished mutating yet. The latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) suggest that the BA.2 strain of Omicron may be even more transmissible than the original variant, and in fact it’s already the dominant strain in countries such as Denmark.
With this in mind, it could become very important to know if that illness you had last week or last month was a bad cold, ‘flu, or was actually Covud-19. If you didn’t take a test, assuming it was just a heavy cold, or simply didn’t want the disruption it might bring, it’s not too late to find out if you had Covid-19. Likewise, if you did take an NHS lateral flow test and it came up negative, that doesn’t mean you didn’t have Covid-19. Evidence is increasing that LFTs are less sensitive at detecting Omicron. Some studies have suggested false negatives are more likely because Omicron reaches higher levels in saliva before it does in nasal mucus.
And for some lucky people, Omicron is entirely asymptomatic, they may be entirely unaware they have had Covid-19 recently.