Explainer: Omicron variant & its symptoms


South Africa’s last few months saw Covid-19 cases move out of the danger zone, except for the Gauteng province which remains the epicentre of the virus in the country.

But with the emergence of the new mutation – now dubbed the Omicron variant – cases started climbing. While little is still known about its severity, the doctor who was first alerted to the possibility of the mutation – Dr Angelique Coetzee says after observing her patients’ symptoms of Covid-19, previous symptoms and the ones her patients recently exhibited didn’t correlate.

What we do know is that Omicron symptoms are milder than other strains of the virus, but this variant has the most mutations and isn’t directly related to the Delta and Beta variants. What does this all mean?

Guest: Professor Adrian Puren, Acting Director – National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)

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