The new Coronavirus variant Omikron is causing unrest around the world.
One of the first doctors in South Africa to sound the alarm about Omikron reports on the symptoms of her corona patients.
Pretoria - Dr.
Angelique Coetzee, chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, was probably the first doctor to inform the authorities in South Africa about the new Omikron coronavirus variant.
The family doctor had previously observed unusual Covid 19 symptoms in her corona patients.
Doctor on Omikron patients: "Symptoms different and milder"
"Her symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had previously treated," said Dr.
Coetzee, a family doctor for 33 years, on the British
At the beginning of November, patients came to her practice in Pretoria.
They would have suffered from severe fatigue.
None of them complained of a loss of taste or smell.
When four family members with total exhaustion tested positive for Corona on November 18, she informed the country's authorities.
Omicron variant in South Africa: mostly younger patients complain of pain in their limbs and extreme tiredness
"Patients mostly complain of body aches and pains and fatigue, extreme fatigue, and we see it in the younger generation, not the elderly," said Dr.
Coetzee of the BBC.
These are not patients who would be admitted directly to a hospital, said Coetzee.
In South Africa, people who were infected with the Omikron variant in South Africa are not seriously ill, according to the local doctors' association.
However, most of the patients are currently young.
And the investigations at an early stage.
Doctor Coetzee told the
that she had treated a total of 24 patients with the Omicron variant.
Most of them were young men who showed up "so tired".
About half of them were unvaccinated.
The family doctor also reports on a case of a six-year-old child: “We had a very interesting case, a child about six years old with a fever and a very high pulse, and I wondered if I should take her in.
But when I checked two days later, she was so much better, ”says Dr.
Coetzee fears that the new Corona variant could hit older people who also suffered from diabetes or heart disease hard.
In South Africa, only about six percent of the population is over 65 years of age.
In the country, only around 24 percent of people are fully vaccinated.
Is the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) dangerous?
The omicron variant (B.1.1.529) was first detected in southern Africa. In the meantime, the cases are also increasing in Europe. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified B.1.1.529 as a "worrying variant" (VOC). Omikron has a particularly high number of mutations, especially on the spike protein. Experts fear that the new variant could be more contagious than the currently dominant delta variant. Omikron can infect cells more easily.
WHO said it would take a few weeks to understand the effects.
Warned against hasty reactions, such as travel restrictions, points out that a “risk-based and scientific approach” should be followed.
The EU health authority ECDC speaks of serious concerns that the variant could significantly reduce the effectiveness of the corona vaccines and increase the risk of reinfections.
The exact effects of the new variant have not yet been determined.
Researchers around the world are working to determine their transferability.
Omikron has already arrived in Germany.
Experts call for tough corona rules.
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