Omicron-led third wave infects more people but spares lungs – The Economic Times

lipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/omicron-led-third-wave-infects-more-people-but-spares-lungs/articleshow/88723017.cmsSynopsis

Compared to the previous two waves the symptoms are mild and the duration of illness shorter. Doctors say that those who are getting infected have high fever, body ache, throat irritation and mild cough.

The Omicron-fuelled third wave has resulted in both breakthrough infections – those who are vaccinated being infected – and reinfections, doctors told ET.

Compared to the previous two waves the symptoms are mild and the duration of illness shorter. Doctors say that those who are getting infected have high fever, body ache, throat irritation and mild cough. Importantly, most symptomatic patients are not experiencing breathing difficulties.

“There is no breathing difficulty, and generally the fever lasts for 2-3 days. Lung involvement is not common this time; most people have upper respiratory tract symptoms,” said Sandeep Budhiraja, group medical director, Max Healthcare. He said hospitals are also seeing examples of persons who are getting Covid-19 for the third time.

Covid-19 cases in India are currently rising exponentially. Public health experts say that India is witnessing a third wave as parts of the country see a surge in the number of cases, and hospitalisation numbers are beginning to go up.

omicron

“At a pan-Max India network level, on December 25, we had 31 admitted patients and on January 3 we had 116 admitted patients,” Budhiraja further said.

India reported 58,097 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest in 199 days. Experts feel that this wave will peak faster compared to the previous two.

Anurag Agrawal, chair, WHO’s technical advisory group on SARS-CoV-2 virus evolution, said the big metros will see a peak this month itself and tier-2 cities are likely to see it next month. VK Paul, member, Niti Aayog, said there has been a steep spike and a quick drop in cases in other countries. He said it won’t be correct to call Omicron “mild”. “The systems can get overwhelmed,” he said.

Doctors say this variant of the virus is more infectious but is not attacking the lungs. “Most patients tend to have upper respiratory infections but little or no hypoxia and clean lungs. Along with this, most infected people have fever, runny nose and throat symptoms,” said SP Kalantri, medical superintendent, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Maharashtra.

Symptoms like loss of taste and smell are not dominant this time, doctors say.

They say as more cases come up they will be able to distinguish whether it’s Delta or Omicron. “Most of the patients have come with severe throat pain, cough, fever, headache, body ache. The cases have risen but the admissions have not increased to that proportion,” said Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, internal medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi.

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