The spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant has got world leaders contemplating their next month in the pandemic.

Restrictions - such as those on international travel - have been tightened as scientists remain uncertain over the impact of Omicron as cases continue to rise.

There are now estimated to be 48 cases of the new strain in Scotland.

Omicron has been deemed a 'variant of concern' by the World Health Organisation (WHO)

This is because the new strain has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves, for example, on how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes.

It is suggests that the symptoms of the new strain different from the variants we have experienced before.

But how do they differ and what are the tell tale signs of the Omicron variant? Here is all you need to know.

Cropped shot of a handsome young man holding his nose while lying on a couch at home during the day
Some of the symptoms differ to other variants.

Six symptoms of the Omicron variant

1. Fatigue

Extreme tiredness has be linked to the new variant.

This symptom was also associated with previous strains, lasting around five to eight days with other variants in most cases.

However, some people can still feel tired for several weeks following infection.

It is not yet know how long fatigue is likely to last if someone tests positive for the Omicron variant.

2. Body aches and pains

As with the original coronavirus strain, patients infected with Omicron have reported experiencing body aches and pains. Again, this symptom has usually only lasted a few days with other variants.

3. Headache

Commonly associated with other strains of the virus, those infected with the Omicron virus have reported headaches as a symptom.

Researchers have previously found that people with coronavirus tend to have moderate to severely painful headaches, or feel pulsing or stabbing pains.

4. Scratchy throat

South Africa health professional, Dr Angelique Coetze, who first raised the alarm about Omicron said patients reported having a 'scratchy throat' but no cough when infected with the variant.

This symptom is slightly different to previous strains.

Taking paracetamol and drinking plenty of fluids should help to ease any pain.

5. Runny nose

Despite being a symptom of the common cold or flu, a runny nose has also be linked to Omicron infection.

A viral infection causes the nose to produce more mucus to help trap and wash away viral particles.

6. Sneezing

Again, this symptom could easily be confused as a sign of cold or flu, but in some cases it could be an indication of Omicron Covid-19 infection.

If you sneezing regularly and are worried it could be a sign of coronavirus, it is best to take a test to be sure.

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here .