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Dec 2021

Everything you need to know about the Omicron variant

Posted By Suborna Fermi Posted on Dec 03, 2021

A new variant of covid-19 has been detected on 26 november 2021. The world health organization has entitled it Omicron (B.1,1.529). Omicron variant is at first identified in South Africa, 24 november 2021, furthermore it is also been spotted on various other countries, including India. Recently, 2 cases of Omicron variant have been detected in karnataka, India. The world health organization announced this variant of covid-19 as a variant of concern, because it is thought to be transmittable.

In SARS-Cov-2, there are 13 variants. Some prior variants are no longer taken as a variant of concern. However, scientists are very concerned about this variant because this variant has exceedingly huge numbers of mutations of the covid-19. In contrast, the delta strain of covid-19, which was also declared as a variant of concern, has 8 mutations, whereas this variant has 32 mutations in the spike protein. However, it is still unknown about the transmissibility of this variant, but a large area of south africa is infected.

The number of mutations does not exactly indicate that this variant is more deadly than the other variants but there is a hint that this variant can be spread faster. Researchers are observing Omicron cases closely to know about its symptoms and severity. Also, according to preliminary evidence, the symptoms of this Omicron variant are muted and almost the same as other Covid-19 variants.

Some limited evidence indicates that there are some indications that patients who have been diagnosed with covid-19, are more at risk of getting re-infected with Omicron. However, vaccination is needed not only to protect against Covid-19 delta strain, but also for other serious health concerns. Likewise, vaccines may build the immune system stronger to fight the Omicron variant. Medical practitioners are still conducting PCR tests to diagnose covid infections including Omicron.

The governments of various infected countries have taken some restrictions to stop the transmission of the Omicron variant. Multiple countries have suspended flights to southern african countries. Restrictions in travel may help prevent the infection. Of concern, however, is that the first cases of the Omicron variant were detected in mid-November and now that travel bans are in place, the virus may already be spreading to several countries.

The most effective way an individual can take to reduce this transmission of the Omicron variant is to stay aware. Avoid congested gatherings, maintain at least 1 metre of distance with others, and wear well-fitted masks. Besides, keep your hands clean, either with washing or using an alcohol based sanitizer. Maintaining good hygiene can save you from many autoimmune infections as well. On top of everything, vaccination is really important, do get your vaccines when it is your turn.