With two cases of Omicron found in India, the South African doctor who originally identified the novel COVID variation claimed the patients she has studied so far show “milder” symptoms than those affected by the more common Delta version.
Fatigue, aches and pains are some of the signs of Omicron infection, according to Dr Angelique Coetzee, chairperson of the South African Medical Association.
Further detailing the symptoms, the physician said some patients infected with Omicron variant developed quite severe headaches and tiredness but none of them mentioned the loss of smell/taste or severely blocked of the nose or increase in body temperature, that were seen in patients affected by strains of COVID-19.
“So, this is what we say. It is milder than the Delta variant at the primary healthcare level. At the hospital level, that picture might change but these are very early days as there is not a lot of admissions yet at the hospitals,” Dr Coetzee said while speaking to ANI.
She emphasised that vaccines will protect people against the disease at this stage because irrespective of age group and co-morbidities, she saw that people who have been inoculated against COVID-19 exhibited milder symptoms on being infected with Omicron.
The Omicron variant was announced by South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) on November 25.
Dr Coetzee said that on November 18, several patients had reported to her clinic with symptoms of extreme fatigue, body ache and headaches, which upon testing led to the discovery of positive Omicron cases. The doctor said the cases in South Africa did not rise immediately but this week they had begun to rise and increase in a significant way. “So we know that it is a fast-spreading virus,” she said.
“Our latest stats that I have just received show that in the past 24 hours we have 11535 cases of which the majority is between the age of 30 and 50-55 years of age group. So this is what we are seeing,” Dr Coetzee said.