South African doctors see signs that Omicron is milder than Delta

Dr. Unben Pilary sees dozens of sick patients a day while Omicron variants dominate South Africa. Still, no one had to be sent to the hospital.

That’s why he suspects, along with other doctors and medical professionals, that the Omicron version is actually causing a milder COVID-19 than Delta, even if it seems to spread faster. It is one of.

“They can manage the illness at home,” Pilary said of his patient. “Most recovered within a 10-14 day quarantine period,” Pirey said.

And this includes older patients and those with health problems that may be more vulnerable to the aggravation of coronavirus infections, he said.

Two weeks after Omicron was first reported in South Africa, other doctors shared a similar story. Keep in mind that it will take an additional week to collect enough data to ensure it. Their observations and early evidence provide some clues.

According to the South African Institute of Infectious Diseases:

  • Only about 30% of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in the last few weeks have been seriously ill, less than half of the first few weeks of the previous pandemic wave.
  • The average length of hospital stay for COVID-19 this time is about 2.8 days shorter than 8 days.
  • Only 3% of patients recently hospitalized for COVID-19 died, compared to about 20% in previous outbreaks in the country.

“At this point, virtually everything is mild,” said Willem Hanecom, director of the African Institute of Health, citing figures from the National Institute and other reports. “We are still in the early stages and we need to get the final data.

Hospitalization and death often occur later and we only take two weeks to this wave. “

Meanwhile, scientists around the world are monitoring case numbers and hospitalization rates, testing how well current vaccines and treatments work. Delta remains the predominant coronavirus strain worldwide, but cases of Omicron occur in dozens of countries, with South Africa as the epicenter.

Medical scientists Melva Mlambo (right) and Puseletso Lesofi are preparing a sequence of COVID-19 Omicron samples at the Ndlovu Research Center in Elandsdoorn, South Africa, on December 8, 2021.

Pirey is practicing in Gauteng, a country where the Omicron version is well established. South Africa’s most populous state with 16 million inhabitants, including the largest city of Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria. According to health officials, Gauteng has a 400% increase in new cases during the first week of December, and tests show that Omicron accounts for more than 90% of that.

Pirey said his COVID-19 patient on the last delta wave “had breathing problems and had reduced oxygen levels.” Many had to be hospitalized within a few days, “he said. He said the patients he was treating are now showing mild flu-like symptoms such as body pain and coughing.

Pillay is a board member of an association representing approximately 5,000 general practitioners across South Africa, and his colleagues have recorded similar observations about Omicron. Netcare, the largest private health provider, has also reported less serious cases of COVID-19.

However, the number of cases continues to increase. South Africa confirmed 22,400 new cases on Thursday and 19,000 new cases on Friday. This is an increase from about 200 per day a few weeks ago. The new surge infected 90,000 people last month, Health Minister Joe Fara said Friday.

“Omicron has helped the resurrection,” said Phaahla, who states that 70% of new cases across the country are due to Omicron.

He said the current wave coronavirus regeneration rate (indicating the number of people who could infect one person) is 2.5, the highest record South Africa has recorded during a pandemic.

“Because this is a contagious variant, we see an unprecedented increase,” said Waasila Jassat, who is tracking hospital data from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

Of the patients hospitalized in the current wave, 86% were not vaccinated against the coronavirus, Jasat said. COVID patients in South African hospitals are also younger than at other times in the pandemic, with about two-thirds under the age of 40.

According to Jasat, the early signs are that Omicron cases are less severe, but the amount of new COVID-19 cases still overwhelms South African hospitals, potentially increasing the number of severe symptoms and deaths. I have.

“It’s always a danger of the waves,” she said.

South African doctors see signs that Omicron is milder than Delta

Source link South African doctors see signs that Omicron is milder than Delta

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