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  4. South African medical association says Omicron variant causes 'mild disease'

South African medical association says Omicron variant causes 'mild disease'

WHO identified on Friday the new South African strain as one of concern, as it is reported to carry a high number of mutations- 32- which possibly makes it more transmissible and dangerous.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk
Johannesburg Updated on: November 28, 2021 9:02 IST
South African medical association, Omicron variant, mild disease, latest omicron variant, omicron va
Image Source : AP.

People with masks walk at a shopping mall in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Highlights

  • WHO identified the new South African strain as one of concern
  • Hospitals have not been overburdened by Omicron patients, says official
  • At the same time, the situation might be different for the unvaccinated

The new Omicron variant of the coronavirus results in mild disease, without prominent syndromes, Angelique Coetzee, the chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, told Sputnik on Saturday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) identified on Friday the new South African strain as one of concern, as it is reported to carry a high number of mutations- 32- which possibly makes it more transmissible and dangerous. 

The WHO has dubbed it Omicron, the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet."It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well. So far, we have detected that those infected do not suffer loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms. Of those infected some are currently being treated at home," Coetzee said.

The official noted that hospitals have not been overburdened by Omicron patients and that the new strain is not been detected in vaccinated persons. 

At the same time, the situation might be different for the unvaccinated.

"We will only know this after two weeks. Yes, it is transmissible, but for now, as medical practitioners, we do not know why so much hype is being driven as we are still looking into it. We will only know after two to three weeks as there are some patients admitted and these are young people aged 40 and younger," Coetzee added.

The chairwoman also criticized the decision by some countries to ban flights from South Africa is premature as there is not enough information on how dangerous it is. Following the reports about the new variant, the United States, the European Union, Canada, Israel, Australia and other countries have restricted travel from several southern African nations over the health concerns.

(With ANI inputs)

Also Read: Antony Blinken hails South Africa for quick response to emergence of 'Omicron' COVID strain

Also Read: Omicron: Karnataka issues new guidelines after 2 South Africans test Covid positive | 10 points

 

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