South African medical staff “Omicron’s symptoms seem relatively mild”


Early research results show that the novel mutant Omicron of COVID-19 appears to have milder symptoms compared to the existing coronavirus.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Bloomberg News reported this on the 5th (local time), citing a report published by the Medical Research Council of South Africa.

According to medical staff at a general hospital in Gauteng Province, South Africa, where the omicron mutation is prevalent, as of the 2nd of last month, out of 42 patients in the hospital’s COVID-19 ward, 70% did not require oxygen treatment.

Nine of the remaining patients suffered pneumonia symptoms due to COVID-19, and the remaining four received oxygen supplementation treatment for underlying diseases unrelated to COVID-19, the medical staff said.

Farid Abdullah, director of the AIDS and Tuberculosis Research Center at the South African Medical Research Council, said, “This is something that was not seen in previous epidemics.”

According to other analysis results in the report, the average hospitalization period of 166 COVID-19 patients admitted to this hospital from the 14th to the 29th of last month was 2.5 days, significantly lower than the average of 8.5 days in the previous 18 months.

Most of them were under the age of 50 who had not been vaccinated and were diagnosed with COVID-19 after visiting the hospital for other reasons.

During the same period, the death toll was 10, and the mortality rate stayed in the 6% range.

Five were over 60, four were 26-36 years old, and one was a child.

However, the medical staff reported that the cause of the child’s death was not related to COVID-19.

The report noted that the relatively small number of critically ill and fatalities “shows a very different picture compared to the early days of past epidemics.”

However, because this report is the result of an initial analysis on a small number of subjects, it is too early to conclude that the omicron mutation is less lethal, the medical staff said.

Willem Hanecomb, director of the African Health Research Institute, also gave the lead in an interview with the BBC on the same day, saying, “Overall, the disease seems to be milder, but it is very early now.”

In addition, the average age of the South African population is very young, 28 years old, so there is a possibility that the number of seriously ill patients is small compared to developed countries with many elderly people.

Not all cases analyzed in the report have been identified as infected with omicron mutations.

However, South Africa’s health authorities have said that almost all of the recent confirmed cases in Gauteng Province are omicron mutation infections.

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