Data coming from overseas indicate that the omicron variant of COVID-19 causes mild symptoms that resemble those of the common cold.

Doctors in India are reporting that omicron variant symptoms do not include a loss of taste or smell and usually require routine cold-like treatment.

“We have treated 24 Omicron-positive patients so far,” Dr. Suresh Kumar, medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital, told the Times of India. “Their condition improved with symptomatic treatment and none of them required steroids, antiviral drugs or oxygen therapy that were the mainstay of treatment for the Delta variant.”

Imperial College London released study data Wednesday showing the risk for hospitalization due to the omicron variant is significantly less than that of delta, while the U.K. Zoe COVID study estimated that half of those with cold-like symptoms will have COVID-19, according to the BBC.

“Cautious optimism is perhaps the best way to look at this,” Manuel Ascano Jr., a Vanderbilt University biochemist who studies viruses, told the Associated Press.


Despite the milder symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned that the omicron variant may spread faster than delta did and better evade vaccines.