Hospitals and GPs across Southern Africa are increasingly reporting that the symptoms of the aggressive new Covid strain Omicron are “unusual but very mild,” according to various media in South Africa this weekend.
Around 90 per cent of all new infections in the Johannesburg region are now caused by the Omicron strain but, so far, the Covid death rate and even hospital admissions appear not to be increasing significantly, local media report.
Some experts are therefore cautiously optimistic that – if Omicron turns out to be less lethal but more contagious and dominant than the Delta variant – the new mutation may actually be a blessing in the sky.
Hundreds of infected people across Southern Africa reportedly complain of nausea, headaches, fatigue and a high pulse rate, but none seem to suffer from a loss of taste or smell, which has been the case with most other Covid mutations.
Moreover, more and more medics across Southern Africa are confirming that most Omicron-infected patients merely have a severe headache, nausea or dizziness.
Dr Angelique Coetzee told various newspapers in South Africa: “Symptoms are so different and so mild from [non-Omicron] Covid patients I have treated before.”
A GP for over three decades, and chair of the South African Medical Association, she was the first African doctor to suggest to local authorities Covid had mutated into a new strain.
Coetzee reportedly said the symptoms “did not make immediate sense”, with patients including young people of different backgrounds and ethnicities with fatigue and a young child with a high pulse rate.
Blessing in the sky
Looking at the first data coming out of Southern Africa, virologist Marc van Ranst said this weekend that “if the omicron variant is less pathogenic but with greater infectivity, allowing Omicron to replace Delta, this would be very positive.”
My one thought on this new variant is that it can’t be significantly different then the older/previous variants or all this testing would be useless? Would my thinking be correct in this regard? Anyone?