Most Covid-19 cases in Assam during the current third wave have reported mild symptoms as compared to the second wave that swept through the country last year, medical experts said.
The current third wave is being driven by the Omicron variant that is highly transmissible, resulting in an alarming number of positive cases in the state as well as the country.
Although positive cases are definitely on the rise, severe complications like lung damage and shortage of oxygen have not been reported among patients during this wave.
“During the ongoing Covid-19 third wave, majority of the patients have symptoms like sore and itchy throat, cough, sneezing, runny nose and high fever. These symptoms are exactly like those of viral fever or flu,” said Dr Basanta Hazarika, state nodal officer for Covid-19.
“Severe complications like lung damage and shortage of oxygen have not been reported among patients. In fact, only four or five Covid patients are on oxygen support at the Covid Hospital of the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) at present,” Hazarika said
Moreover, many fully vaccinated patients are getting infected with Covid-19, though the infection tends to be mild in such patients.
He said that majority of those infected with Omicron did not require intensive medical support and their oxygen levels have remained stable. 60-70 per cent of patients infected by the Alpha and Delta variants required oxygen support.
“In case of Delta, the virus directly infected the lungs. In the case of Omicron the virus stays in the upper throat and do not easily pass down to the lungs, which is another reason behind its highly transmissible nature,” said Hazarika.
Although genome sequencing of samples of positive patients in hospitals not being done, the prevalent symptoms point towards the Omicron variant.
Health experts expect positive cases in the state to drop by the first week of February this year, though possibility of a more deadly variant emerging in future remains as the virus will keep mutating.
“The virus is here to stay and following Covid-19 protocols is the only way to keep ourselves safe from further infection,” Hazarika.
According to data published by the National Health Mission, Assam, 1,951 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the state on Wednesday. With this the active caseload in the state has reached 36,063.
The positivity rate further surged to 9.85 per cent.
The disease also claimed 21 lives on the same day, taking the total death toll to 6,359 in the state.
The total number of positive cases has reached 7,04,853 in the state, of which 6,61,084 have recovered. The recovery rate stood at 93.79 percent.