Clinical Characteristics of 40 Patients Infected With the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant in Korea

J Korean Med Sci. 2022 Jan 17;37(3):e31. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2022.37.e31.


Since severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 variant B.1.1.529 (omicron) was first reported to the World Health Organization on November 24, 2021, the cases of the omicron variant have been detected in more than 90 countries over the last month. We investigated the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of the first 40 patients with the omicron variant who had been isolated at the National Medical Center in South Korea during December 4-17, 2021. The median age of the patients was 39.5 years. Twenty-two patients (55%) were women. Seventeen patients (42.5%) were fully vaccinated, and none were reinfected with the omicron. Eighteen (45%) had recent international travel history. Half of the patients (19, 47.5%) were asymptomatic, while the others had mild symptoms. Six patients (15%) showed lung infiltrations on chest image; however, none required supplemental oxygen. These mild clinical features are consistent with recent case reports on the omicron variant from other countries.

Keywords: B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2 Variant; COVID-19; Cohort Studies; Republic of Korea.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / pathology
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2 / genetics
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification*
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Travel
  • Travel-Related Illness
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants