Just when we thought the world was getting free of travel restrictions and other implications of coronavirus, a new COVID variant has appeared out of the blue. The World Health Organization identified this new COVID variant and named it Omicron. Experts first found it in South Africa on November 24, 2021. It has been declared as a VOC’ Variant of Concern’ by researchers at WHO. Let’s find out everything about the Omicron variant:
How Transmittable is Omicron?
Omicron is spreading rapidly and has already reached countries including Belgium, Hong Kong, Israel, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and recently India. This new COVID variant appears to be more transmissible than the highly infectious Delta variant. However, the WHO is still conducting further researches to identify the actual mode of transfer of omicron.
If you have symptoms of omicron like cough, fever, or shortness of breath. Then, it is highly recommended to get tested for COVID and start your treatment as soon as possible. You can book your COVID-19 Test at the Best Labs in Lahore via Marham without any additional charges.
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has stated that:
“The new COVID variant has Immune escape potential and potentially increased transmissibility advantage compared to Delta.”
How Deadly is the New COVID Variant?
The initial research on the Omicron virus suggests that it is more easily transmittable and can cause even more severe complications than the Delta variant. Furthermore, the omicron variant is likely to infect those with a weak immune system and those suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease.
After observing the fast spread of this new COVID variant in South Africa, where only a small proportion of the population is vaccinated, we can conclude that unvaccinated people are also at high risk. Therefore, it is essential to improve your immune system and get vaccinated as soon as possible.
When asked about the Omicron variant, the Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Andrea Ammon, said:
“We continue to monitor and assess the spread of Omicron, but there remain a large number of factors that can change the dynamics of the situation, and the evidence we have so far is limited. With that in mind, a multi-layered approach to delay any further spread of Omicron in the EU/EEA is needed. Vaccinations for those either not yet vaccinated or who have not completed their vaccine course and boosters for those over 40 years of age are imperative. Non-pharmaceutical interventions have been shown to be effective in reducing transmission and should continue to be implemented based on the epidemiological situation, including physical distancing measures and adequate ventilation in enclosed spaces and working from home if at all ill.”
In total, 390 confirmed cases have been reported in 31 different countries. All patients for which information on severity is available were either asymptomatic or mild. So yet, no severe cases or deaths have been reported among these infected people. More research and data are required to fully understand this variant’s symptoms and severity.
What are the Symptoms of Omicron Variant?
There is currently no evidence that symptoms related to Omicron differ from those associated with other variations of COVID-19. Initially, the virus was detected in young people (university students), and they showed only mild symptoms; their age could be a reason for this. However, determining the severity of the Omicron variant in people of different age groups and genders will take days to weeks.
Actions Against Omicron in Pakistan?
On Wednesday, the leadership of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), which is in charge of the country’s COVID-19 response efforts, met in Islamabad to assess actions to prevent the virus’s spread. Authorities say they are increasing COVID-19 vaccination efforts. And have broadened the criteria for vaccine booster doses in response to concerns about the Omicron variant.
The Bottom Line
Preliminary research suggests that Omicron has a significant advantage over the Delta variant in transmissibility, severity, and immunological escape potential. But, further investigation is necessary to address these concerns. In the meantime, we all must keep ourselves protected by taking precautions and visiting a doctor immediately after experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the Top Pulmonologists in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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1. Who named the Covid variants?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has named all the COVID-19 variants, including Omicron.
2. What are the organs most affected by COVID‐19?
COVID-19 virus mainly affects your lungs.
3. How many countries have Omicron cases?
Until now, around 31 countries have had cases of omicron.