Emergence of the new strain caused serious concern at the World Health Organisation (WHO). Experts suggested that Omicron was more easily transmitted from person to person than the Delta strain. To help stop any potential spread, being vigilant of any new and unusual symptoms is key including those found in changes to your heart rate.
The virus is also known to affect the inner surfaces of veins and arteries, which can cause blood vessel inflammation, damage to very small vessels and blood clots, all of which can compromise blood flow to the heart or other parts of the body.
“After you have had COVID-19, if you are experiencing a rapid heartbeat or palpitations, you should contact your doctor.
“A temporary increase in heart rate can be caused by a lot of different things, including dehydration.
“Make sure you are drinking enough fluids, especially if you have a fever.”
Symptoms of palpitations can include:
- Feeling your heartbeat rapidly or irregularly in your chest
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy, especially upon standing
- Chest discomfort.
In less than two weeks, Covid infections of the new strain appeared in dozens of countries.
Dr Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, told the BBC that she started to see patients with “unusual symptoms” that differed slightly from those associated with the Delta variant.
Common early symptoms reported have included fatigue, muscle aches, dry cough and scratchy throat but another symptom has been highlighted of palpitations.
David O’Connor, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at University of Wisconsin-Madison, told Reuters via email there had not been enough time or cases to know if the Omicron variant presents any different symptoms.
“What has been widely recirculated are a few expert views based on an analysis of only a very small number of cases,” O’Connor said.
“Doctors and scientists need more time to know if or how Omicron severity is different.”