Omicron symptoms mild with or without vaccination says South African physician

 Two are three days are usually enough to alleviate Omicron symptoms in vaccinated people

On 24 November 2021 (Wednesday) a new COVID Variant was identified in South Africa. The new COVID Variant is named Omicron; World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated the new COVID Variant as the Variant of concern.It is 

Many questions about the newly discovered Omicron COVID-19 variant remain unanswered, but some evidence is emerging to suggest that it might not present the same way as other strains of the disease.Patients with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 look very different than those infected with previous variants like Delta, says the chair of South Africa’s medical association.

“It’s totally different from the Delta,” Dr. Angelique Coetzee told the media.  She said that these patients aren’t displaying the same loss of taste and smell, need for supplemental oxygen or elevated pulse rate that doctors noted with Delta patients.

“It’s very much like a cold or flu type of symptoms,” she said, adding that patients are reporting headaches and body aches, and a slight sore throat.

“They don’t have a severe cough and they don’t have a running or blocked nose as you would see with an upper respiratory tract infection,” she said.

COVID-19 patients infected by the Omicron variant, whether vaccinated or not, usually experience mild symptoms, though in the unvaccinated, they are more intense and last longer, said Dr Angelique Coetzee, who is among the physicians who first flagged the highly mutated strain in South Africa.

Among the vaccinated, two or three days are usually enough for alleviation of symptoms, she added.

“There’s both protection and transmission. Protection from disease is through vaccination. Mitigating transmission is through physical measures like masks for airborne transmission, good ventilation, distancing, avoiding congregations. That really is that simple.”

“What we have learnt is that it is quite transmissible. Is it more than Delta? We do not know. Whether it will infect more people than Delta at the end of the day, we will have to see. It can be diagnosed using a PCR test,” she said. 

“We also know you can test on rapid tests between one and five days of symptoms. In the primary healthcare set-up, most of the cases are mild, no need for hospitalisation. No oxygen needed for majority patients. 

In the beginning of any wave, children and younger people are the first to be affected,” she added. “As the wave progresses, more elderly, people with comorbidities, start getting affected. When that happens, we will know exactly how many severe cases there are.”

 Overall, patients appear to be less sick than those in previous waves of COVID-19, Coetzee said, although generally speaking, severe illness seems to lag a few weeks behind infections, and the data is very new.

These patients tended to be younger than in previous waves, with more than 80 per cent of them under the age of 50.

Most of these patients didn’t need oxygen, the researchers wrote — in contrast to previous waves at that hospital. And many of them originally went to the hospital for other reasons, and then tested positive for COVID-19 later.

 “Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, told CNN on Sunday. “But we have really got to be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe or it really doesn’t cause any severe illness, comparable to Delta.”

Most common symptoms

Most common symptoms for the new COVID Variant “Omicron” are fever, cough, tiredness, loss of taste or smell.

Less common symptoms
Less common symptoms for the new COVID Variant “Omicron” are sore throat, headache, aches, pains, diarrhoea, a rash on skin, discolouration of fingers or toes
red or irritated eyes.

Serious symptoms
Serious symptoms for the new COVID Variant “Omicron” are difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, loss of speech or mobility, or confusion or chest pain.

If anyone has any of these symptoms then he/she should urgently take the COVID test.
After the detection of a new variant of COVID, the WHO has advised the country and every individual to follow the SOPs (Standard Operating Protocols).
                                                                              Rukhsana Manzoor deputy Editor  


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