How to Treat Omicron Symptoms at Home (October 2022).

As of the week ending October 29, 2022, BA.5 represent an estimated 49.6% of the SARS-CoV-2 variants currently circulating in the United States, according to the CDC. The BQ.1 Omicron subvariant strain and a descendant called BQ.1.1 represent an estimated 27.1% across the country.

There is no evidence yet that BQ.1 is linked with increased severity compared with the circulating Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, European officials said, but warned it may evade some immune protection, citing laboratory studies in Asia.

COVID-19 Omicron BQ1, BA5 and BA4 Variants' Symptoms

The range of possible symptoms is wide but initial symptoms might center on the upper respiratory system. 

As of right now, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 do not seem to have symptoms that distinguish them from previous COVID-19 variants, says William Schaffner, M.D., infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “So far, they don’t seem to produce more severe disease, although it’s early,” he says. “There’s nothing distinctive about their symptoms that would tell you that you have one variant over another.”

According to the US CDC (updated August 2022), people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.

Possible symptoms include:
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
Because these symptoms can easily be mistaken for a common cold, especially during a time when travel restrictions are being lifted, many choose not to seek out a COVID-19 test initially — until other symptoms present later down the road. 

Take a Test

Between 48 and 72 hours after potential COVID exposure or at the first sign of any symptoms, people should take either a rapid antigen or PCR test. “There should be a very low threshold for testing yourself to see whether you have COVID or whether you have something else,” says Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. COVID can look very like a cold, influenza or allergies, but the treatments for each are different.

PCR tests are more sensitive but harder to get, and taking a rapid antigen test at home usually suffices, the experts say. If the first test is negative, people should wait two days (behaving cautiously in the meantime) and take another one as Myers did. If it is COVID, the viral load will increase in that time. “Nothing in life is perfect, nor are the rapid antigen tests, but they’re pretty darn good at picking up contagious levels of virus,” says Lucy McBride, a practicing primary care doctor in Washington, D.C. (Lists of free test locations are available on the Test to Treat locator Web site provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

When people test positive, it is a good idea for them to call a primary care physician if they have one. Doctors can provide guidance on treatment and update medical histories. They will also report the result to public health authorities so that it is included in case counts. At a minimum, people should track the date that symptoms began and the date of a positive test.

Over-the-Counter Help

Most people who get COVID will be just fine at home. “If you’re vaccinated and boosted and generally healthy, people do very well,” McBride says. Over-the-counter medications will not treat COVID directly but can help manage symptoms. Doctors recommend acetaminophen (Tylenol) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) to bring down fevers and relieve achiness. Early in the pandemic, there were reports that ibuprofen made COVID worse, but those have not been substantiated. NSAIDs are only intended to be taken for short periods, however, because they have more side effects than acetaminophen, and they are not safe for everyone. People who take other medications should consult with a doctor before taking NSAIDs. Antihistamines or cold medications such as DayQuil can be used to relieve congestion and cough.

All over-the-counter medications should be taken as needed and not beyond recommended dosage instructions (some cold medicines already include acetaminophen). “The dose and frequency really depend on the patient’s underlying health conditions and should be discussed with the person’s doctor,” McBride says.

Getting enough rest is critical, as is drinking enough fluids, which prevent dehydration and reduce cough. 

Having a pulse oximeter at home would also be useful to calculate the amount of oxygen in a person’s blood without having to draw a blood sample. If oxygen levels fall below 95 per cent, that would be a sign to visit the hospital.

Thermometers, tissues and hand sanitizer are other supplies often recommended to keep at home while experiencing a COVID-19 infection. Finally, it won’t hurt to take vitamin supplements (read details below).

Concerns about immunity and monoclonal antibodies

According to Assistant Professor Yunlong Richard Cao at BIOPIC, Peking University:

"...BQ.1.1 escapes Evusheld and bebtelovimab, making all clinically available antibody drugs ineffective."

 

At-Home Treatments

Always consult your trusted medical professional before you take any medication or supplement. You can find a listing of doctors who can prescribe necessary home isolation medications on Find a Provider post. 

There are many COVID-19 treatment protocols out there on the internet. We have reviewed many protocols and believe the FLCCC I-CARE protocol is one of the easiest and effective protocols to follow. 
    Most of the other component treatments in the I-CARE protocol have various mode of actions and may not be affected by the changes in the Omicron variant  and subvariants' spike protein.

    Emergency warning signs


    Individuals are reminded to seek immediate medical attention (go to a hospital’s emergency department) if they develop emergency warning signs of COVID-19 such as:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • Bluish lips or face
    • New confusion or inability to arouse

    Key Takeaway

    As soon as you have symptoms, consult your healthcare provider and start treatment as early as possible. If treatment is delayed i.e. after 5 days of symptoms, your chances of severe COVID are higher.

    Related: 


    Z-Stack Supplement

    In an effort to make it easier for patients, Dr Zelenko has developed an oral supplement that contains all four key natural ingredients: vitamin C, quercetin, vitamin D3 and zinc. It’s referred to as 'Z-Stack Supplement.
    Z-Stack Vitamin cocktail provides key ingredients needed in order to help your body fight off this deadly invader. The Z-Stack Vitamins are Kosher certified, GMP certified and made in the USA.

    The cost of the Z-STACK vitamin cocktail is $55 per bottle for a one month supply.

    Where to buy Z-Stack: Z-stack is available on Dr Zelenko's website. Here is the link: Z Stack Supplement 

    Note: To get 5% OFF, please use this coupon code: DRFRANCIS

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