When the South African doctor Angelique Coetzee (61) discovered the Omikron variant in mid-November, she immediately examined whether it was dangerous. Their findings: “In contrast to the Delta variant, Omikron does not attack the upper respiratory tract and, in mild cases, especially not the lungs. Pneumonia can only develop in severe cases. ” In addition, people infected with Omikron would have developed increased immunity to the Delta variant, especially if they were vaccinated.
Coetzee recommends treating affected patients with cortisone or anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. The faster this is done, the faster the recovery rate in patients with mild symptoms. “A small dose of cortisone appears to be the gold standard for treating Omikron once the diagnosis is made. Artificial oxygen supply is not necessary. “
The harsh measures that all states and hospitals took after Omikron came to Europe and the USA have been criticized by the doctor from day one and until today. “This panic was completely exaggerated,” Coetzee told the Swiss “Weltwoche”. Governments would have rightly warned against the rapid spread of the variant. But with their warning of overcrowded hospitals and even more deaths, they would have scared people.
Instead, the governments should have communicated that the vaccination “offers quite good immune protection” and protects against serious disease progression, hospitalization and death. In South Africa, for example, 88 percent of Omikron cases in intensive care units were not vaccinated. Nevertheless, no government is in a position to “vaccinate the population from the pandemic”. It is therefore important not to carry out pharmaceutical interventions in parallel with vaccination, instead of spreading panic. Her opinion: “Ultimately, people have to decide for themselves what is good for them and take responsibility for their decisions and actions.”
The booster vaccination “clearly works against Omikron”. In addition, it also needs a “social responsibility of the citizens to do the obvious”, such as wearing masks and staying away from crowds. “But anyone who threatens strict lockdowns or enforces travel restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading does not understand the virus.
Viruses are not living beings, but built-up molecules that cannot exist on their own. They aim to kill their host. That is why many experts hoped that the virus would have an interest in displacing more aggressive viruses. “Although Omikron spreads like a wild fire at breakneck speed, the symptoms are milder compared to the Delta variant. Omikron acts more like a flu or a cold virus. “
In South Africa it has been shown that the number of cases rose rapidly at first, but then fell “at an amazing rate”. At the same time, hospital stays increased only slightly. It assumes that people in Europe and the USA can also be confident that the new corona wave will soon have peaked.
In the meantime, Coetzee has also gained some knowledge about the symptoms: “Omikron is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the musculoskeletal system, which can lead to back and chest pain. In addition, headaches in the morning, some hoarseness and night sweats can occur, coupled with fatigue. These are the typical omicron symptoms. After six days or less, the majority of patients appear to have fully recovered. “