A South African doctor who first raised the alarm on a new COVID variant Omicron has revealed that patients are presenting with unusual symptoms.
Dr Angelique Coetzee, who runs a private practice in the South African administrative capital of Pretoria, said she first noticed earlier this month that COVID patients were presenting with a multitude of unusual symptoms.
The doctor, who’s practised for over 30 years and chairs the South African Medical Association, said that none of the Omicron patients experienced a loss of taste or smell, typically associated with COVID, but instead presented with unusual markers like extreme weakness and a raised pulse rate.
Dr Coetzee told a newspaper outlet that their symptoms were so different and so mild from those that she’d treated before and that she was compelled to notify South Africa’s vaccine advisory board on November 18 when she treated a family of four, all of whom were suffering from extreme fatigue after testing positive for COVID 19.
First seen in South Africa earlier this month, Omicron has since been discovered in Britain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Botswana, Israel, Hong Kong and Australia, and Australian health authorities are conducting an investigation into a suspected case.
The discovery of Omicron, dubbed a variant of concern last week by the World Health Organisation (WHO), has sparked concerns around the world that it could resist vaccinations and lengthen the nearly two-year pandemic.
Omicron is potentially more infectious than earlier variants, although authorities don’t yet know if it will cause more or less severe COVID 19 compared to other strains.
Dr Coetzee reassured the media that the new symptoms she’d seen were mild and that all of the patients she was treating had recovered well, and she said that they had one really interesting case, a child, about six years old, with a temperature and an extremely high pulse rate, and she wondered if she should admit her to the hospital, but then when she followed it up two days later, she was so much better, but the doctor also said she was worried the variant could pose a bigger threat to the elderly.
The discovery of the new variant has prompted numerous countries to strengthen COVID restrictions and impose harsh border controls in an attempt to contain the spread.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday imposed isolation for all UK arrivals pending PCR test results and compulsory masks in shops and on trains and put a multitude of countries on the red list for travel restrictions.
However, there will be many people who will be more interested in putting up their Christmas tree than listening to Boris Johnson.
People may have lost their sense of smell, but clearly, the doctors and scientists have lost their sense of ‘common’, and most people aren’t listening anymore, and they’ve been falsely claiming that people have died from COVID when in fact they haven’t.
Experts in South Africa have said that it seems like this Omicron variant is less dangerous than the delta variant, which was less deadly than the alpha variant. Perhaps we should be celebrating because every time this virus mutates it appears to get less dangerous.
The whole virus thing will ultimately be resolved by natural evolution. It will, of course, keep becoming more transmissible but less dangerous, and eventually, it will spread everywhere in the world, providing antibodies through natural infection, and within 5 years, when the Zambian Zebra variant is hovering around, we will be treating COVID like the flu.
But the plan is pretty clear. Mandatory masks from early December. Vaccine passports mid-December. January lockdown, lifting of restrictions in the spring, lifting in the summer and then repeat again, but is this really how we want to live our lives?