The COVID-19 virus took off in China in December 2019 and from there it spread across the globe in an uncontrollable manner and became a pandemic. Since then the virus mutated in different versions and the previous one was the Delta variant. The scientists had warned about the contagious nature of the new variant that could lead to a third wave. But thankfully the vaccines were effective enough to combat the new variant as well. However, the virus has once again mutated to a new version and the World Health Organization has called it as Omicron. Here what you need to know about the new variant.
The new variant originated in South Africa and it is still not clear if it causes more severe disease compared to the other variants, but some of the preliminary data has suggested that there is an increase in the rates of hospitalization in South Africa. As per Dr. Angelique Coetzee, the chair of the South African Medical Association, who was the first to flag the new variant, said that the symptoms of the variant are very mild.
Some of the symptoms of the Omicron include:
1. The patients can complain of a scratchy throat.
2. The patients who are infected can experience extreme tiredness and that it is not limited to a particular age group.
3. No noted cases of a severe drop in oxygen saturation has been detected in the cases.
4. Doctors have informed that majority of the patients who were infected have recovered post hospitalizations.
5. Patients infected with omicron have not reported any loss of taste or smell.
While the new variant continues to be dubious, the researchers in South Africa and across the globe are conducting studies to better understand different aspects of the new variant. The studies so far have indicated that the variant has thirty mutations. So far cases of the new variant have been reported from about eleven countries including Germany, South Africa, Britain, Australia and others.
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