As various countries prepare themselves to tackle the new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’, people have been warned about its symptoms which are quite mild as compared to the previously detected Delta variant.
But some leading scientists from South Africa believe that it is too early to determine that the new variant will only cause mild illness like fever or body ache.
During a presentation on Wednesday, scientists stated that it is young people who are most affected by the new variant until now who are able to fight off the virus due to their age. But they also pointed out that people who have carried the virus tend to get more sick after the virus has worn off.
First detected in South Africa, the Omicron variant has been declared as the most dominant variant until now and as per the National Institute for Communicable Diseases , the cases have almost doubled 8,561 in the last 24 hours in the country. The first announcement of the Omicron variant was made on November 25.
Infectious disease specialist, Richard Lessells, said, “If this virus and this variant spread very efficiently through the population, then it will still be able to find those people in the population who are unvaccinated and may be unprotected against severe disease. That’s what also concerns us when we think about the continent more generally.”
Lessells further said, “We expect that the protection you have against severe disease is much more difficult for this variant to get around,” he told the lawmakers. “We don’t expect this will have any effect on the therapeutics we use.”
One of the main reasons for this new variant is that the rate of vaccination in South Africa compared to other countries like China and western nations is pretty low. A continent with a population of 1.3 billion people has only about 6.7% of people who are fully vaccinated.