Incubation period for omicron: after how many days the first symptoms appear
Created: 2022-03-22Updated: 2022-03-22 7:21 PM
By: Yannick Hanke
Which omicron symptoms indicate an infection with the corona variant?
And when do they even appear?
The big overview.
Berlin – At first it was “only” the corona virus itself, then more and more variants came up.
Omikron still employs all of Germany.
Science has already shown that the virus variant spreads rapidly.
But when can you tell if you have been infected with omicron?
The focus here is on the incubation period and the symptoms of omicron, as reported by kreiszeitung.de.
Incubation period at Omikron: There is a risk of infection of the corona variant again, especially due to the elimination of the home office obligation
Not least due to the fact that home office is no longer mandatory, many employees have another question: Could my colleague have infected me with Omikron the day before?
In fact, many employees have already stated that they are afraid of an omicron infection in the office*.
After all, millions of people in Germany have to go back to the office.
The risk of infection still exists.
However, the symptoms and the incubation period also play a major role in Omikron as well as in Omikron BA.2.
What symptoms indicate an infection with omicron and what about the incubation period?
(Iconic image) © Martin Schutt/dpa
First of all, it must be clarified what the term incubation period is all about.
This is the time between infection with the pathogen and the appearance of the first symptoms.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) commented early on about the specific incubation period for the corona virus.
At the beginning of the pandemic, it was said that it took an average of five to six days before corona symptoms appeared.
Omicron: The incubation period for the Corona variant should be shorter than for Alpha or Delta
Then corona variants such as Alpha and Delta appeared, in which the time until the first symptoms were already shortened.
In principle, however, it is also true that a person with Covid-19 can already be contagious before symptoms even appear.
So what does this mean for the incubation period for an infection with omicron, the predominant variant in Germany?
It is generally assumed that the incubation period for Omikron is shorter than for the other corona variants.
For example, wa.de reports that around three quarters of the guests at a company party in Norway's capital Oslo were infected with omicron.
This would only have happened shortly after the discovery of the corona variant omicron in Europe.
And the average incubation period after the celebration was just three days.
The average incubation period for omicrons is three days after corona infection – according to a US study
A period that is confirmed by another case and a study by the US health authority CDC.
Because in this example, too, similar observations regarding the incubation period at Omicron could be recorded.
Specifically, this is about a household with six people in the US state of Nebraska.
One of the residents had returned from a conference in Nigeria, Africa, with an omicron infection "in luggage".
According to the CDC, the other five members of the household were also infected with the corona variant.
The incubation period was three days on average.
Omicron Symptoms: Sore Throat Suggests Infection With Coronavirus Variant
But how do the symptoms of Omikron manifest themselves after an infection with the corona variant?
For example, the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) has an answer to this question on the website "fection-protection.de".
Here we are talking about a sore throat that accompanies infections with omicron.
On the other hand, a loss of taste or smell would occur much less frequently than with Delta.
These symptoms may indicate omicron infection
Infections with the omicron variant of the coronavirus can often be associated with a sore throat.
According to scientific findings, omicron infections also seem to affect the nose, mouth and throat more, but also the tonsils and cervical lymph nodes than is the case with variants such as Alpha or Delta.
US health experts from the "Center for Disease Control" (CDC) also warn against a pale, gray or bluish discoloration of the skin, lips or nail beds.
Evidence that could indicate an omicron infection and should definitely be examined by a doctor.
It also states that infections with omicron "[appear] to affect the nose, mouth and throat, tonsils and cervical lymph nodes more than other variants".
In which case the lungs are more likely to be involved.
Even if the study situation is generally still rather thin, virologist Sandra Ciesek assumes a shorter incubation period at Omikron.
"Incubation time at Omicron shortened": Virologist Hendrik Streeck explains the large increase in corona cases
In the "Coronavirus Update" podcast from NDR, Ciesek referred to the report from Norway and subsequent cases.
In view of this, the virologist came to the conclusion "that the incubation period for omicron could be somewhat shorter".
However, speaking in the subjunctive also makes it clear that there is still no absolute certainty for this assumption.
Her colleague Hendrik Streeck, on the other hand, put it more absolutely:
What we see is that the incubation period is shortened at omicron.
And with that, we have to expect an explosion of cases.
Virologist Hendrik Streeck in early 2022 in an interview with RTL
However, there is also a distinction to be made.
Because the incubation period is not to be equated with the time in which a person is contagious.
"It is considered certain that the contagiousness is greatest in the period shortly before and after the onset of the symptoms of omicron and that a significant proportion of transmissions take place before the first clinical symptoms appear," it says in this context about the omicron symptoms from the RKI.
The incubation period for Omikron can vary from person to person - and corona infection is also possible without symptoms
And like the incubation period for the coronavirus and the omicron variant, this period can vary from person to person.
It has already been said from research circles that the contagiousness would decrease significantly after ten days.
However, one cannot generalize from this either.
After all, a corona test can still show a positive result even after ten days.
Last but not least, it is also deceptive because infection with omicron is possible without any symptoms*.
That is why the RKI, among other things, recommends isolating yourself after contact with an infected person.
In addition, preventive measures should be taken to avoid further corona infections.
(Data as of March 21, 2022) * kreiszeitung.de and wa.de are offered by IPPEN.MEDIA.