Dr. Angelique Coetzee, a private practitioner and chair of South African Medical Association, told Reuters that on Nov. 18 she noticed seven patients reporting at her clinic who had symptoms different from the currently dominant Delta variant, albeit they were "mild."
Now designated Omicron by the World Health Organization, the variant was detected and announced by South Africa's National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Nov. 25 from samples taken from a laboratory from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16.
Coetzee said a patient on Nov. 18 reported at her clinic being "extremely fatigued" for two days with body aches and headache.
On the same day, more patients came in with similar symptoms, which was when she realised there was "something else going on." Since then, she's seen two to three patients a day.