No need to panic over Omicron, says infected doctor

India is a part of a list of at least 30 countries where the variant has been detected though so far.  

While guidelines on whether all Omicron cases need hospitalisation are yet to be framed, the 46-year-old government doctor infected with this variant in Bengaluru said it is not a “deadly” variant as it is made out to be and patients can be managed in home isolation, if symptoms are not severe.

“Out of my personal experience and the mild symptoms that I have had, I can say that Omicron infected cases too can be managed in home isolation under medical supervision,” the doctor told The Hindu on Saturday.

The recovering doctor said that he has not experienced anything life-threatening so far even after 13-days since the onset of COVID symptoms. “I am absolutely fine now. There is no need for people to panic over this new variant as there are no complications that were seen in those infected with the Delta variant. What is important is that people should not let their guard down, and they should get tested if they have symptoms,” he said.

The doctor, who along with his ophthalmologist wife and two daughters, has been admitted at the dedicated Omicron isolation ward in the State-run Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College and Research Institute, said he had only mild fever, body ache and chills. “I did not have any respiratory symptoms or loss of taste and smell. Soon after my reports returned positive, I isolated myself,” he said.

For three days, the doctor took paracetamol, multivitamins and antibiotics, since symptoms were manageable. “My oxygen saturation did not drop, pulse rate was normal and fever was subsiding. But on the morning of November 25, I experienced two episodes of postural hypotension (a form of low blood pressure that happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down) and giddiness. There was a slight dip in oxygen saturation too. That is why I got admitted to a private hospital and was there till November 29,” the doctor said.

At the hospital, he underwent a high resolution chest scan (HRCT), which showed very minimal changes in the lungs. “This is common in a COVID patient with 3-4 days of infection. I was given a dose of anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies on November 25 and the next day I felt absolutely fine. I do not know if this treatment helped me or my recovery was in the normal course,” the doctor said.

The anaesthetist, along with two other colleagues from the same hospital where he is working, had attended a cardiology conference on November 20. “All international speakers attended online. I do not think I could have got infected there because I developed a fever within 24 hours. The incubation period cannot be so short,” he said.

His wife, who is under treatment at the same hospital, said she has a sore throat, severe myalgia and muscle pain apart from chills. She has been put on intravenous fluids since Friday and is recovering. The children, who tested negative on a repeat test, are attending online classes from the hospital now.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 9:52:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/no-need-to-panic-over-omicron-says-infected-doctor/article37841947.ece

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