New COVID-19 Variant, Omicron Detected In Several Countries

Experts are currently watching for any significant rise in hospitalizations over the next week or two, while countries are scrambling to respond to the new, highly mutated version of the virus.

In the rush to understand the threat posed by the Omicron variant, the worrisome new version of the coronavirus, some experts are pointing hopefully to early signs that it may cause only mild illness.

new covid-19 variant, omicron detected in several countriesPhoto via Berita Harian

However, it is far too early to assume that the variant will not cause severe illness, too, warned Dr. Richard Lessells, who coordinates clinical and epidemiological data for the South African COVID Variant Research Consortium.

According to the New York Times, many of the early infections in the South Africa variant were spotted among younger people, more likely to experience mild illness. The picture may change as the virus spreads through larger populations. 

For now, the variant has been spotted in at least a dozen countries, including Britain and the Netherlands. Many others are closely monitoring cases. 

Omicron has yet to surface in Malaysia.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, who chairs the South African Medical Association noted on Saturday that the nation’s hospitals were not overrun by patients infected with the new variant, and that most were not fully immunized. 

Patients she had seen did not lose their sense of taste and smell, and that most were not fully immunized. 

Dr. Lessells said that scientists have not yet analyzed infections in fully immunized people, but they are already seeing some cases of reinfection that suggest the variant can oversome natural immunity. 

new covid-19 variant, omicron detected in several countriesPhoto via Malay Mail

This is worrying!

Guys, if you’re travelling, please remember to take extra precautions and remember to always follow the SOPs like wearing your face mask, maintain physical distancing and wash your hands regularly.

Stay safe, everyone!

By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat