Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and has set off a global pandemic. The delta variant, which was first detected in India last October and the recently discovered variant of COVID-19, is Omicron. Scientists around the world are studying and tracking changes in the new variant Omicron. Their researches help us understand whether certain COVID-19 variants spread more speedily than others, how they might affect your health, and how to cure them. Through this article, you will get detailed information about the Omicron variant COVID-19.
What is Omicron variant COVID-19?
The Omicron variant was first reported in Botswana, South Africa a week ago. On Nov 25, 2021, about 23 months since the first reported case of COVID-19 and after a global estimated 260 million cases and 5·2 million deaths, a new SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (VoC), omicron, was reported. Omicron has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves. 23 countries across the world have reported cases of the highly mutated omicron COVID-19 variant, said WHO on Wednesday. The virus can be transmitted in small particles of liquid from an infected person's mouth or nose when they cough, sneeze, speak or breathe. These particles range from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols.
What are the mutations in the Omicron variant?
Omicron COVID-19 variant’s mutations with known effects confer increased transmissibility and affect binding affinity. Importantly, the effects of most of the remaining omicron mutations are not known, resulting in a high level of uncertainty about how mutations will affect viral behavior and susceptibility.
What are the symptoms of Omicron variant COVID-19?
The South African doctor who first raised the alarm over the new strain, described the symptoms linked to the new omicron variant have been “extremely mild”. COVID symptoms have changed since the virus first emerged and the other variants respectively were seen to cause different symptoms. Since this variant is new, there are still unknown facts to be discovered. Yet there is a list of symptoms to this COVID-19 variant and divided into categories; most common, less common, and serious symptoms.
The most common symptoms for the new COVID Variant “Omicron” are:
- Cough, and tiredness
- Loss of taste or smell.
Less common symptoms for the new COVID Variant “Omicron” are:
- Sore throat
- Aches, pains
- Diarrhea, and a rash on the skin
- Discoloration of fingers or toes red or irritated eyes.
Serious symptoms for the new COVID Variant “Omicron” are:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Loss of speech or mobility
- Chest pain.
How to respond to the Omicron variant?
Despite the unknowns and the World Health Organization consider the omicron strain to be a “variant of concern,” It is said Melissa Nolan (an assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina) “This will not be the last variant of concern. There will be more as long as we still have people unvaccinated, susceptible to disease.”
WHO Recommended actions to stop the spread:
1. Keep a physical distance of at least 1 meter from others
2. Wear a mask
3. Open windows to improve ventilation
4. Avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces
5. Keep hands clean
6. Get vaccinated
What is the treatment for the omicron variant?
Being healthy should be part of your overall lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent chronic diseases and long-term illnesses. The global pandemic has been a challenge for the world. World Health Organization and other health departments provided vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19. While everyone is not vaccinated globally and perhaps this virus can affect them more rapidly so the ones who haven’t been vaccinated should take the opportunity to get immunized as soon as possible. “If you are fully vaccinated and boosted, you are probably OK,” Nolan said.
Delta vs. Omicron variant: Is Omicron worse than Delta?
Both Omicron and Delta are variants of the original SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. When the Delta variant was first detected, it was said to be more than twice as contagious as previous COVID-19 variants, per CDC. According to WHO the Omicron variant has a “large number of mutations,” and it seems to be more likely to infect people who have previously had COVID-19. Dr. Schaffner says, “Many of those mutations involve the actual spike protein, which is the critical part of the virus that allows it to enter the cells of our body and make us sick,” Yet there are unclear facts, whether Omicron is as contagious as Delta or even more infectious than Delta.
Is omicron worse than Delta? “The short answer is, we don’t know,” says Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York. However, Omicron variant COVID-19 has large mutations and is yet to know. But now, Omicron has the potential to spread more rapidly than Delta, according to public health experts.
In the modern age of technology, people have been caught in the wheel of innovations and inventions that alongside brought many changes in every walk of life no matter good or bad. This age has brought facilities along with different downfalls in the field of health, politics, education, and the economy. COVID-19 and its variants; Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants are causes of different medical warfares that many countries have been affected and affecting now. Therefore scientific inventories brought forward vaccines and different ways to stop the pandemic but the courage to face this disease was noticeable in every country.