A South African doctor who was among the first in the country to suspect a new Covid-19 variant was making people sick says the cases she has treated so far have been mild.
“It started with a younger generation of 40 and less, and the most predominant clinical complaint is severe fatigue for one or two days, with then the headache and the body aches and pain,” Dr. Angelique Coetzee, a private practitioner and chair of South African Medical Association, told Reuters.
“Some of them will have what they call a scratch throat, and some will have a cough, a dry cough. But it’s not a constant cough. It comes and goes. And that’s more or less the big symptoms that we have seen.”
Coetzee said she and her colleagues have not treated anyone requiring oxygen, but some have had had high temperatures, including one who was a severely ill child who had a fast pulse.
The child was treated at home and was feeling better after about 48 hours.
Appearing on CBS on Sunday, former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb noted health officials do not know if the variant will cause more severe outcomes.
“Is this making people more ill? There’s no indication that it is. And in fact, there’s some anecdotal information offered from physicians in South Africa that this could be causing milder illness. Now that could be an artifact of the fact that initial cases seem to be clustered in younger people, perhaps in outbreaks around universities,” Gottlieb told CBS News on Sunday.
CNN has reached out to Coetzee for additional comment.