UK researchers are warning that symptoms of the common cold could potentially point to a person having COVID-19.
The ZOE Covid study team has reportedly been studying and tracking the pandemic using feedback given by the general publics according to the BBC.
This team has estimated that around half of those experiencing cold-like symptoms have actually caught COVID-19.
The group said that an "explosion" of COVID-19 cases has occurred in the last week, driven by the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
"The number of new symptomatic cases has exploded over the last week," said lead scientist Prof Tim Spector.
Spector urged those who are experiencing cold-like symptoms to take a COVID-19 test.
"For most people, an Omicron positive case will feel much more like the common cold, starting with a sore throat, runny nose and a headache. You only need to ask a friend who has recently tested positive to find this out," he said.
"We need to change public messaging urgently to save lives," Spector added.
Despite the precautions being taken by cities across the US, the Omicron variant now accounts for 73 percent of COVID-19 cases in the US, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier this month that "it appears that with the cases that are seen, we are not seeing a very severe profile of disease."
"In fact, it might be, and I underscore might be, less severe as shown by the ratio of hospitalizations per number of new cases," Fauci continued.