Although the Omicron variant is mild in nature, the recovered patients after acute COVID-19 illness are now experiencing post covid complications fatigue, body ache, cough, sore throat. Most of the patients are recovering in three to four days but they are developing post covid complications due to their visiting OPD at private and civic-run hospitals.
Doctors said it will be too early to call it post covid complications but they have been treating many patients over the last two weeks who have complained of severe back pain, headache and sore throat after recovering. However, there are no major problems but the patients need to take utmost care to avoid any health issues.
Dr Balkrishna Adsul, head of Seven Hills Hospital of Municipal Corporation, said that in the third wave most of the healthcare workers have shown post covid complications such feeling tired and restless. “Earlier, if someone was infected, he is kept in isolation for at least 10 to 14 days, but now recovery takes place in 4 to 5 days and isolation also ends in 7 days. After that they return to duty, but the above problem is being seen in them. Now it has to be seen whether this problem remains for a few days or for a long time,” he said.
Meanwhile, studies have found that Omicron’s incubation period lasts for three days, which means the symptoms develop more quickly after being infected with this variant as compared to others. For Delta, the incubation time frame is about four days. While a variant of global concern due to its high transmissibility, emerging research has revealed that the Omicron variant causes less damage to the lungs and a less severe disease when compared to other variants of the novel coronavirus.
Dr Prashant Borade, Head Critical Care Department, Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai said the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been declared as a ‘variant of concern’ by the CDC. The reason is the rapidity of spread due to high transmissibility. It has over 30 mutations on the spike protein, which is why it can infect even those fully vaccinated. In most patients, the symptoms range from mild fever, cough, sore throat, body ache to breathlessness in immunosuppressed and elderly patients.
“Although full recovery from omicron infected patients comes within 4 to 7 days, some cases have complications even after recovery. Patients with underlying chronic illnesses like COPD, asthma, chronic liver, and kidney disease may have flare-ups in their condition. Some of them may get fatigued and have myalgia for a prolonged period. Back pain is seen in quite a few patients, which may be linked with underlying vitamin-D deficiency and osteoporosis. It is pretty early to make any judgement yet regarding long-term complications after recovery from omicron. Most of them are after observations from the clinicians in a short duration. Further detailed studies are required to assess new complications and pathological mechanisms of their causes,” he said.
Dr Tripti Gilada Infectious Disease Specialist, Masina Hospital said at present, the problem of fatigue, body pain, especially back pain is being seen in people recovering from the disease. Many times the problem of body pain increases with fever to a great extent, which takes some time to recover.
“For the time being it is too early to call it a post covid problem. We have to wait for three weeks. After that it will be known what other problems are happening in the people,” said Dr Gilada.
Dr Pinank Pandya, Consultant Critical Care and Senior Intensivist Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre said that the omicron variant is risky for them and many patients (around 85%) have remained asymptomatic in the first week. Although frontal headache, nasal stuffiness, Body ache and fatigue are the initial symptoms that are different from the Delta variant.
“The symptomatic people are recovering fairly early with minimal recovering symptoms like fatigue and sore throat. The Likely problem still remains that “what if there is a more severe and virulent variant of omicron as it already is resistant to Antibody cocktails and has already gone past double vaccinated individuals??" she questioned.