Moscow: The Omicron strain of the Covid-19 may lead to neurological complications much like other Covid variants, according to a Russian expert.
According to founder and chief executive of DNKOM research center Andrey Isaev, although Omicron has been touted as causing mild infections, it can lead to long Covid in adults and systemic inflammations among children, TASS news agency reported.
The Omicron variant carries a large number of mutations and is also known to evade vaccine-induced immunity.
Yet, several studies have shown that the Omicron variant is less able to infect the lungs and, as a result, is leading to less patients being admitted with pneumonia who require oxygen and ventilators.
However, in many countries, particularly in the US and Israel, it spiked hospitalisations.
Isaev stated that since Omicron is a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 which had been known to affect the brain as well as cause inflammation it may have some or the other post-infection effects, the report said.
"Despite the lighter course of the Omicron, it is necessary to understand: if the coronavirus does not lead to pneumonia and artificial lung ventilation, it may have other consequences," he was quoted as saying.
"Covid-19 in the past may lead to severe nervous system disturbances - neuro Covid and long Covid-19 may occur when infected with the Omicron as well," Isaev added.
The variant also significantly affected children. Many children across US were hospitalised.
Isaev noted that "systemic inflammations may evolve with children" due to Omicron.
The predominant symptoms of Omicron include headache, lethargy, throat pain, dry cough, fever, and loss of appetite. So far studies have shown it to be largely affecting the upper respiratory system and are not known to affect the lungs much.
But in January, Israel reported a case of a person with Omicron being treated for myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle.)
Studies have shown that even mild cases of Covid-19 can trigger persistent symptoms.
Long Covid is a possibility regardless of the variant, top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci was quoted as saying in a recent interview.
"Long Covid can happen no matter what virus variant occurs. There's no evidence that there's any difference between Delta or Beta or now Omicron," he had said. (Agency)
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