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Omicron variant symptoms: 5 things you need to know

WHO designated the variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern, named OmicronPremium
WHO designated the variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern, named Omicron

  • Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, who first flagged the new variant has said that symptoms of the variant are ‘extremely mild’
  • It is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta

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The new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 has been named ‘Omicron’ by World Health Organisation on 26 November. It was also designated a variant of concern by the UN health agency on the same day. As of now the new coronavirus variant has reported cases from eleven countries globally including Britain, Australia, Germany, South Africa and others. 

It is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta. Preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of specific infection with Omicron.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, who first flagged the new variant has said that symptoms of the variant are ‘extremely mild’, however ‘unusual’, that is, differed slightly from those associated with the delta variant.

Five symptoms that we know so far 

• Patients infected by the Omicron variant have complained of ‘scratchy throat’

• The affected patients have shown extreme tiredness, which is not limited to any age group

• There has no noted cases of severe drop in oxygen saturation levels

• According to doctors, most patients who were infected have recovered with hospitalizations

• The patients have also not reported any loss of taste or smell

Researchers in South Africa and around the world are conducting studies to better understand many aspects of Omicron. So far theories have emerged that the variant has thirty mutations.

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