Omicron , the new COVID-19 variant has emerged already. This article from DOC EDUCATES, I will try to cover the most important aspects of a new variant of COVID-19 – THE OMICRON
Let’s dive into the article.
The Omicron virus variant is one of the seven variations of the COVID virus. COVID-19 and SARS are two types of viruses, one of which is called the Omicron variant. This new strain of COVID was first reported to the World Health Organization in South Africa on 24 November 2021.
What Is This Variant?
Its initial outbreak was in Zimbabwe, where one person died of the disease. The World Health Organization is investigating the condition and is looking for the virus that causes it. Omicron is a variation of SARS-CoV-2.
The new COVID-19 variant is termed OMICRON by the WHO. As reported by doctors of South Africa, the virus is back, this time with more energy, tactics, and camouflage.
It is a new heavily mutated coronavirus variant and is now designated as a variant of concern by WHO.
How Dangerous it Can Be?
According to the sources, the death rate has also accelerated. From its detection, within two weeks it has outpaced Delta and become the dominant strain in Gauteng province where there is a surge of cases.
Its RO value is 1.93 as compared to the Delta variant which was at 1.47.
Scientists are rushing to understand the cause and spread of this new virus so that they can prevent it from spreading to other people. It can spread quickly through the oropharyngeal route and can be deadly.
Concerns about Epidemic!
This new strain has the potential to spread worldwide rapidly.
Despite its recent discovery, omicron has spread to other countries, including Botswana. This is because it has been found in the South African borderlands. The Hong Kong team has also found that the omicron variant is more likely to be transmitted than the other variants.
While it is still too early to diagnose the Omicron virus, the disease is not endemic in most countries.
The World Health Organization warned that a surge of COVID in a region like France could be particularly harmful. It is important to monitor the situation closely, as a sudden outbreak could be devastating.
OMICRON-Signs & Symptoms
Its symptoms might be similar to those of the COVID-19 virus. The variant is also different from other types of the disease, but it is not necessarily more severe. The changes are consistent with the symptoms of seasonal influenza.
It is not recommended to contact a person who has had this type of illness. Several researchers worry that the OMICRON variant will not cause severe illness and that it may spread through the population more easily than the other variants. The virus is a relatively common disease, but early research suggests it may cause similar symptoms to other COVIDs.
The symptoms of Omicron are different than the previous. variant. It doesn’t make the victim cough or cause fever, rather the more common symptoms are
- Joint pains
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness Of Breath
Some people develop severe diseases after exposure.
How it Can Be Detected?
The strain is not domiciled in the nasopharyngeal region but it directly affects the lungs, which means window periods are shortened. The disease has been linked to multiple types of human cells.
As reported, a number of patients without fever detected with this variant have no fever but an
- X-ray report shows moderate chest pneumonia.
- The Nasal Swab is also often Negative for COVID-19.
There are more and more false pharyngeal nasal tests of COVID-19 in this variant which implies that the virus spreads directly to the lungs causing Acute Respiratory Distress due to Viral pneumonia. Hence it has become acute and more fatal.
PCR Test: A PCR test that can detect the presence of the OMICRON virus is a useful way to identify a potential cause. PCR tests look for segments of three viral genes, including the spike gene. If a sample has a variant in this gene, it will not test positive for the virus.
Therefore, it is important to note that a sample containing a mutation in the spike gene will not be detected by the PCR test.
Any Previous Case?
Previously, the COVID-19 strain – OMICRON virus was detected in South Africa in late July. It was considered a mild virus but can develop into a more serious case. A person infected with the omicron variant is likely to experience shortness of breath and fever. It can also affect the lungs. However, it does not require medical treatment. It was thought at that time that a healthy individual would be able to treat the infection at home.
Recent Case Of Omicron
A recent case in the U.S. was discovered in a California traveler who is fully vaccinated. Although the virus was only detected in the state after he returned to the United States, he is still showing mild COVID-19 symptoms. His symptoms have included vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
Luckily, the patient was diagnosed early and is now receiving treatment for his illness.
22,535 new cases, have been reported in New Zealand, as reported in The New York Times on 03-03-2022.
Will Current Vaccines Work Against Omicron?
The vaccines that work against the COVID-19 strains are still in the process of being developed.
Most likely, so a crucial objective remains to increase vaccination rates and should updated vaccines be developed to also use them. The mutations may also make omicron more likely to spread, and scientists are looking for ways to improve the vaccinations.
Omicron’s variant may have changed the vaccine for COVID-19.
GOOD NEWS: Since the virus is so resistant to COVID-19, health authorities in Australia are now developing vaccines that will be effective in combating it. The variants are more dangerous than the original virus, which causes the most serious symptoms. The vaccines that work against the COVID-19 strains are still in the process of being developed.
Why Are We Worried About Omicron?
The CDC and WHO have updated their websites with information on the current situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. In April 2012, the COVID-19 variant caused 5.2 million deaths worldwide, but a new COVID variant named OMICRON has emerged in the past few months. It has been predicted that if this variant spreads the wave could be deadlier than the first wave.
OMICRON has more than 30 mutations on its spike protein (the face that’s more than double what’s carried by Delta raising concerns prior infections still provide some immunity.)
What does this mean to us?
This means that there will be as many mutations of a single variant as is spike proteins.
So there will be lower chances of a single vaccine to cover all of the strains.
What About Treatment?
- Oxygen and
- Dexamethasone have been saving lives.
However, there are very exciting data coming from two antivirals
- Molnupiravir and
Though, we’ll have to wait and see.
you have been exposed to the virus?
Then it is important to seek medical treatment immediately. It is essential to avoid getting sick if you are infected.
What Can You Do?
- Being Cautious is the conerstone in prevention.
- Avoid crowded places
- Wear a face mask
- Wash your hands often
- Wash your face and nose often
- Cough and Sneeze into your sleeves
- Maintain 2m distance
- Follow all the SOP’s imposed by your Local Authorities.
Let’s pledge to be careful and active in keeping ourselves. and our loved ones safe during difficult times.