Omicron variant: ‘Concerning’ modelling figures released
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The Omicron variant has been recognised as a tough and highly mutated strain, with researchers noting more than 30 alterations to its spike protein. The strain, scientifically known as B.1.1.529, is currently feared for its potential to spread faster than previous strains and confer greater resistance to current immune defences. As the virus continues to gather pace, so do global scientific efforts to broaden understanding of the novel strain. In recent developments, a doctor has noted widespread reports of excessive body pain after contracting the variant.
GP Dr. Unben Pillay, from South Africa’s Department of Health, said during a briefing that he is seeing a lot of patients presenting with “a lot of body pains.”
Cases of night sweats that leave your bedding drenched have also been reported, according to the GP.
The GP also noted that vaccinated patients generally did “much better” after contracting the variant.
Body pain is a common symptom of infection, as the body uses inflammation to fight off infections or other pathogens.
READ MORE: Omicron: The ‘initial’ symptom seen in 89% of those infected with the strain – CDC report
The NHS explains: “Some people have widespread aching that can come and go for a time as you recover.”
Reports of infections with previous strains described severe pain in the shoulder and arms after contracting COVID-19.
These problems often occurred alongside stiffness in the arms and weakness in some muscles, according to the NHS.
The health body added: “Many of these problems will improve as you get better, but if you have severe problems contact your doctor’s surgery to talk to a doctor or physiotherapist.
“Some people also have odd or altered feeling such as numbness or pins and needles and weakness in their arms or legs.”
Recent findings released by the CDC have outlined the symptom profile of the variant, suggesting a cough, fatigue and congestion were the three most common symptoms.
The findings come on the heels of a warning recently issued by scientists over an approaching wave of infections and deaths.
More specifically, researchers have warned that a wave of infections could sweep Britain in January, causing a substantial number of deaths.
In fact, the government has been warned the variant could claim the lives of up to 75,000 people in England alone over the next five months, without tougher restrictions.
The mild nature of Omicron’s symptoms could potentially fuel the spread of the virus, as people are more likely to brush off their symptoms as a cold.
Tim Spector, from the Covid Zoe App, told Times Radio: “At the moment, we’re estimating that somewhere between one and three and one in four colds are actually due to Covid.”
“That’s quite a high rate of people that are currently not even bothered to get lateral flow test, or getting a PCR test, going to parties and spreading it around.
“So if that transfers to Omicron then we’re going to be compiling that problem much faster than we would need to.”
A further 633 Omicron cases were recorded in the UK on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases to 1,898, according to the UK Health Security Agency.
The latest figures mark the largest daily increase since the variant was detected.
Researchers have reiterated the importance of vaccine uptake in the face of Omicron’s rapid spread, as it remains the UK’s best chance of curtailing hospitalisation rates.
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