Omicron COVID Variant. Everything You Need To Know - Check Details

Omicron: What We Know About the New Coronavirus Variant

The COVID-19 virus is consistently evolving because it seeks to evade human immune responses and infect more people but most of its evolutions are insignificant. Every now & then, a variant of the disease emerges that warrants a better look. Omicron is that the latest such evolution, following (from most recent) Delta, Gamma, Beta, and Alpha.

Epidemiologists in South Africa sequenced the Omicron strain and reported their findings to the WHO on Nov. 24, noting that it contains quite 30 mutations within the virus’ spike proteins, which permit it to penetrate and infect cells. First identified in Botswana and South Africa.

WHO has called Omicron a “variant of concern” and warned that the worldwide risks posed by it were “very high,” despite what officials described as a mess of uncertainties. The variant has been identified in additional than three dozen countries, consistent with the WHO, on every continent except Antarctica. At the start of December, a California resident who returned home from South Africa was identified because the first American infected with Omicron, and officials have since detected the variant in several Countries including NY, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Hawaii, and India.

There are the primary two cases of Omicron from Mumbai and the third one from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Earlier, a 33-year-old traveler, who had returned to Dombivli in adjoining Thane district from South Africa, had tested positive for the new variant.

The BMC further said that it's been completing Covid-19 tests in international travelers from 1st Nov, and has thus far found 16 of them positive with the infection. While 12 of them are males, the opposite four are females, the civic body said.

It further said during a release that a complete of 4,480 passengers have arrived in Mumbai from "at-risk" countries till December 5.

Rajasthan (9), Karnataka (2), and Gujarat (1) are the states where Omicron cases are reported. Indian Capital Delhi too reported a case of the new variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus on December 5.

The Indian government implemented strict measures for international travelers, especially those that are coming back from Omicron-hit places, categorized as ‘at risk’ countries.

What about vaccines?

Vaccines are expected to supply some protection against Omicron because they stimulate not only antibodies but other immune cells that attack virus-infected cells. Mutations to the spike protein don't blunt that response, which most experts believe is instrumental in preventing serious illness and death

Can current COVID tests detect Omicron, too?

According to both the FDA and test manufacturers, the foremost widely used PCR and antigen COVID tests within the U.S. should detect infections from the Omicron variant, a bit like they can COVID-19 from other strains.

How Does Omicron Differ From Other Strains in Its Effects on the Human Body?

Early reports suggest that peoples infected with the Omicron variant have symptoms almost like those of the flu — fatigue, and head and body aches — whereas people with the Delta variant often report low oxygen levels, elevated pulse rates, and loss of smell and taste, according to Bloomberg.

Transmissibility: It's not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, including Delta. The number of people testing positive has risen in areas of South Africa suffering from this variant, but epidemiologic studies are underway to know if it's due to Omicron or other factors

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