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Omicron: Unwarranted Fear Behind The Latest Variant

Mutation is an inevitable consequence of viruses. Indeed, viruses must mutate to survive. Omicron, the latest “variant of concern” surrounding COVID-19, debuts as the Biden administration and “experts” like Dr. Anthony Fauci continue to predict that COVID-19 variants will be around for a while, with some spreading faster and proving more dangerous than others. And although the Delta variant remains dominant, Omicron’s emergence in South Africa overshadowed the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States and wreaked havoc around the globe. Yet, despite all the panic, the doctor who initially raised the warning over Omicron said on Sunday that her patients who have the new variant had displayed only mild symptoms and have fully recovered without hospitalization.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chairman of the South African Medical Association, said Omicron (named by the World Health Organization) was detected and announced by South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Nov. 25 from samples taken from a laboratory from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16. Coetzee noted seeing a handful of patients on Nov. 18 who arrived at her clinic being “extremely fatigued” for one or two days with body aches and headaches. They all recovered with conservative treatment at home.

Realizing the clinical picture didn’t fit Delta, Coetzee said South African scientists knew of the new variant by Nov. 25. The news spread like wildfire in mainstream media and sparked a “panicked flurry on travel bans on southern Africa as countries raced to contains its spread.” With just 3,220 COVID-19 cases in the entire country, the South African government called the desperate measures around Omicron “rushed” and unjust. Barry Schoub, chairman of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines in the nation, pointed out that the large number of mutations seen in the Omicron variant appears to destabilize the virus, which can make it less “fit” than the Delta strain. He told Sky News on Nov. 28:

“The cases that have occurred so far have all been mild cases, mild-to-moderate cases and that’s a good sign. In a way, hopefully, it won’t displace Delta because Delta we know responds very well to the vaccine.”

Official statistics in South Africa show that almost 75 percent of the COVID-19 cases recently reported in the country have been the Omicron variant. Still, with its moderate symptoms, Dr. Coetzee commented it was unfortunate the new strain has been promoted as “this extremely dangerous virus variant” with numerous mutations while its virulence remains unknown.

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