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Omicron-led third wave infects more people but spares lungs

The third wave powered by Omicron has resulted in both breakthrough infections – those who get vaccinated get infected – and re-infections, doctors told ET.

Compared to the previous two waves, the symptoms are mild and the disease duration shorter. Doctors say those who are infected have a high fever, body aches, sore throat, and a mild cough. It is important to note that most symptomatic patients do not have difficulty breathing.

“There are no breathing difficulties, and the fever usually lasts 2-3 days. Lung involvement is not common this time around; most people have upper respiratory symptoms,” said Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Medical Director, Max Healthcare. He said hospitals are also seeing examples of people contracting Covid-19 for the third time.

The cases of Covid-19 in India are currently increasing exponentially. Public health experts say India is experiencing a third wave as parts of the country see an increase in the number of cases and the number of hospitalizations begins to rise.

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

India reported 58,097 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, the highest in 199 days. Experts believe this wave will peak faster than the previous two.

Anurag Agrawal, chair of the WHO technical advisory group on the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, said major metros will peak this month and Tier 2 cities are expected to see it this month. next. VK Paul, member, Niti Aayog, said there had been a sharp rise and rapid decline in cases in other countries. He said it wouldn’t be correct to call Omicron “soft”. “Systems can be overwhelmed,” he said.

Doctors say this variant of the virus is more contagious but does not attack the lungs. “Most patients tend to have upper respiratory tract 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 director of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram. , Maharashtra.

Symptoms such as loss of taste and smell are not dominant this time around, doctors say.

They say that as more cases arise they will be able to distinguish whether it is Delta or Omicron. “Most of the patients arrived with severe sore throat, cough, fever, headache, body aches. Cases have increased but admissions have not increased by that proportion,” Suranjit said. Chatterjee, senior internal medicine consultant at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. Delhi.

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