New COVID-19 Variant, Omicron discovered by South African scientists
A new variant of the COVID-19 called, ‘Omicron (B.1.1.529)’ has been discovered by South Africans doctors and has been categorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern with a higher re-infection risk as early evidence suggests.
According to Dr. Angelique Coetzee, Chair to the South African Medical Association and one of the first to discover the new variant, the symptoms, so far, appear mild and treatable at home.
“It actually started with a male patient who’s around the age of 33 … and he said to me that he’s just [been] extremely tired for the past few days and he’s got these body aches and pains with a bit of a headache,” she told the BBC.
The patient didn’t have a sore throat, she said, but more of a “scratchy throat” but no cough or loss of taste or smell — symptoms that have been associated with previous strains of the coronavirus.
After testing the patient for Covid, and he was positive, as was his family. Dr. Coetzee reported that she saw more patients that day presenting with the same kinds of symptoms that differed from the delta variant.
The new coronavirus variant Omicron was first detected in South Africa but has since been confirmed in Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, France, and Canada. It has also been detected in 13 people who arrived in the Dutch capital Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa. Flights from the country to the United States, United Kingdom, and some European countries were swiftly banned and raised fears of another lockdown reverberating across the world.