Source: Nworeport

The latest Covid variant Omicron could turn out to be a “Christmas gift” if it prompts milder illness, a German health specialist explained today after South African doctors announced the strain seems to cause less severe symptoms.

Medics in South Africa explained that the strain is causing more mild symptoms — like a headache and tiredness — than previous versions of the virus and hasn’t led to a single hospitalization or death.

Professor Karl Lauterbach, a clinical epidemiologist who is running to be Germany’s next Health Minister, announced that the early reports mean Omicron could be a Christmas gift and may even speed up the end of the pandemic.

He explained that it has a lot of mutations — 32 on the spike protein alone, twice as many as Delta — which could mean it is optimized to infect and be less harmful, in line with how most respiratory viruses evolve.

Professor Paul Hunter, an Infectious Diseases Expert at the University of East Anglia, announced that the theory “may prove to be

true” though stated that high levels of previous infection and vaccination may be offering protection against the strain.

This would be a positive sign because it reveals that the highly-mutated variant is not entirely unrecognizable to the immune system of Covid survivors or vaccines.

Scientists have long warned that the coronavirus is unlikely to be destroyed though it will rather transition into a milder cold-like virus.

Still, experts warned today that they need at least two weeks to decide what impact the Omicron variant will have due to the time it takes for someone to become severely unwell after catching the strain.

Most cases have been in younger people, who undergo milder symptoms from the virus than older adults.


comes as Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced Christmas plans could be put in jeopardy by the new strain, raising fears Britons could be stung with last-minute curbs like last year.

Ms. Sturgeon verified that six cases of the variant have been recorded in Scotland, some of which do not have links to abroad, stating that Omicron is now spreading in the community.

She called for the UK — which has nine confirmed cases of the variant — to toughen up its approach by ordering all arrivals to self-isolate at home for eight days rather than two to curb the spread of the new strain. Boris Johnson denied the plan and explained the Government would review its approach in three weeks.