Patients mostly suffered from mild muscle aches, scratchy throat and dry cough
Doctors in 南アフリカ have suggested that the symptoms of the オミクロン COVID variant could be milder than those caused by the globally-dominant delta variant, though the WHO warns it is still too early to draw conclusions about the fast-spreading new form of SARS.CoV.2.
Dr Angelique Coetzee, a South African doctor and chair of the South African Medical Association who was one of the first people to suspect the emergence of a different virus variant there, said she noticed seven patients at her clinic who had symptoms different from those typically seen with delta.
“What brought them to the surgery was this extreme tiredness,” she told AFP, adding that the patients had mild muscle aches, a “scratchy throat” and dry cough.
Dr Coetzee, who also sits on South Africa’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, said she alerted health officials of a “clinical picture that doesn’t fit delta” on 18 November when seven patients showed different symptoms.
“Symptoms at that stage was very much related to normal viral infection. And because we haven’t seen Covid-19 for the past eight to 10 数週間, we decided to test,」彼女はロイターに語った.
“We have seen a lot of delta patients during the third wave. And this doesn’t fit in the clinical picture. Most of them are seeing very, very mild symptoms and none of them so far have admitted patients to surgeries," 彼女は言いました.
Dr Coetzee said that unlike with delta, so far patients were not reporting loss of smell or taste and there had been no major drops in oxygen levels associated with the new variant. All the patients were eligible to be treated “conservatively” at home, 彼女は言いました.
According to the doctor, the variant is affecting people who are 40 or younger. ほとんど 50 per cent of the patients with symptoms of omicron that she treated were not vaccinated, 彼女は言いました.
At a briefing convened on Monday by South Africa’s Department of Health, general practitioner Dr Unben Pillay listed the symptoms that omicron patients were reporting. 彼は言った: “We are seeing patients present with dry cough, 熱, night sweats and a lot of body pains. Vaccinated people tend to do much better.”
He added that there has been a “very sharp increase” in cases in the past 10 日々.
“Higher transmissibility is likely. We are going to get more cases quickly, we are already seeing early evidence of this,” said epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim at the briefing.
A report from an Indian newspaper said health authorities in Delhi had spoken to their South African counterparts about the new variant, and been told that the areas affected were witnessing a very low rate of hospitalisation linked to omicron. So far globally no deaths have been reported in relation to this new variant.
"ここのところ, it only manifests in the form of mild disease with extreme fatigue and throat irritation being the predominant symptoms,” sources from the Indian side told the Indian Express.
Thousands of cases of omicron have been reported around the world, なので 38 countries have reported cases of the variant. The UK now accounts for 150 それらの, with omicron infections confirmed in Scotland, ノッティンガム, エセックス, Westminster and Wales.
日曜日に, Dr Coetzee told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show その UK was “panicking unnecessarily” after the first two people were found infected with the new variant in England.
“I think you already have it there in your country and you’re not knowing it, and I would say, はい, at this stage I would say definitely,” 彼女は言いました.
世界保健機関 (WHO) has identified omicron as “variant of concern” but has urged caution, saying that it will take another two weeks to tell how transmissible and dangerous the variant really is.
金曜日に, WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier repeated advice blanket travel bans, except for countries whose health systems are unable to withstand a surge in infections.
“It is much more preferred to prepare your country, your health system to possibly incoming cases because we can be pretty sure that this omicron variant will spread around," 彼は言った.
彼が追加した: “Let’s not get deterred right now, let us first get as much information as possible to make the correct risk assessment based on the information that we will have and then let’s move on.
“Let’s not get completely worried or confused by individual information which are all individually important, but which need to be brought together in order to assess together.”
日曜日に, the health body said in a statement: “There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with omicron are different from those from other variants”.
A former top scientific government adviser warned that the omicron variant has “squandered” the UK’s progress in the pandemic. Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, was critical of the government’s lack of leadership and urgency to address issues of vaccine inequity.
The B.1.1.529 variant was detected and announced by South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) オン 25 11月.
In the wake of the new variant’s discovery, countries across the world have tightened their border restrictions and banned air travel from South Africa. イギリスの, mask mandates have returned on public transport and in shops in efforts to slow the spread of the virus.
New travel restrictions announced by the government yesterday state that everyone aged 12 and over will have to take a test a maximum of48 hours before arriving in the UK from 4am on Tuesday.
It came as the latest figures from the UK Health Security Agency (HSA) showed as of Saturday, さらに 26 cases of the omicron variant had been reported across the UK – taking the total so far to 160. In a further move the government said that Nigeria was being added to the travel red list after 21 cases of the omicron variant in England were linked to travel from the west African nation.