Omicron variant showing ‘unusual but mild’ symptoms, South African doctor says

Coronavirus

FILE – Single coronavirus cell with DNA strands and white blood cells (Photo: Getty Images)

(WJW) — The South African doctor who alerted officials of the possibility of a new variant, later named omicron, says the “unusual but mild” symptoms are what caught her attention.

In a FOX News report, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, who is a board member of the South African Medical Association, said she first noticed unusual symptoms on Nov. 18. 

“It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well,” Coetzee said. “So far, we have detected that those infected do not suffer the loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough.”

She went on to say that of those who are infected, they are being treated at home.

Coetzee says that after two dozen of her patients tested positive for COVID and displayed these new symptoms, she alerted officials to the possibility of a new variant.

The World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency meeting on Friday, where it designated the new strain, which it called omicron, a “variant of concern.”

Most of Coetzee’s patients were men who reported “feeling so tired,” and half of them were unvaccinated. The patients have a range of ages and ethnicities, including “one very interesting case” of a six-year-old child with a fever and “very high pulse rate,” she explained. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told viewers in an interview on Weekend TODAY Saturday that it was possible the omicron variant is already in the United States.

President Biden said on Friday that as a precautionary measure, he’s ordering additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries starting Monday, November 29.

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