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Infectologist: Covid spreading, but symptoms mild

The number of Hungarians infected with Covid-19 is increasing but few of them require hospitalisation, Janos Szlavik, chief infectologist at the South Pest Centrum Hospital, told public broadcaster M1 on Tuesday, adding that "a few days' rest" was usually enough to recover.

Szlavik said the mild nature of the disease was due to the fact that a relatively high number of Hungarians had been vaccinated against coronavirus, and the shots were instrumental in avoiding hospitalisation.

The new BA.4 and BA.5 variants of coronavirus will probably replace the original Omicron variant, but “they seem to be less dangerous for the vaccinated than for the unvaccinated,” he said. He warned, however, that those earlier infected with Omicron could still contract the new variants.

Each new variant produces slightly different symptoms from earlier versions, BA.4 and BA.5 generally causing coughs and sneezes, rhinitis, fatigue and headaches, Szlavik said. He warned that those experiencing symptoms of a common cold should suspect Covid-19. Such patients who get tested or stay at home for a week “will protect not only themselves but others too”, he added.

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