As fear grows over a new Covid variant now known as Omicron, doctors in South Africa have observed first symptoms of this new and deadly strain that are different from the Delta one.
Although yet to be officially listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), patients infected with this strain show extreme tiredness, among other noticeable symptoms.
“This is not limited to any age group. Young patients also show extreme tiredness,” according to Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson of the South African Medical Association.
There is also no major drop in oxygen saturation levels, Coetzee said in media reports.
The Omicron patients also reported mild muscle aches, a scratchy throat, and dry cough, according to the doctor.
The patients that Coetzee treated were mostly men, aged under 40, and around half of them were even vaccinated.
Although in a ray of hope, the doctors in South Africa said most patients of Omicron strain have recovered without hospitalisation.
The overall global risk related to the new Covid variant, Omicron is assessed as very high, said the World Health Organisation on Monday.The WHO said on Monday that Omicron is a highly divergent variant with a high number of mutations, including 26-32 in the spike, some of which are of concern and may be associated with immune escape potential and higher transmissibility.
However, there are still considerable uncertainties, added the global health body. “Given mutations that may confer immune escape potential and possible transmissibility advantage, the likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron at the global level is high,” said the WHO.