Facts About Omicron Variant Of COVID-19
In November, scientists discovered a new variant of COVID-19 in South Africa called Omicron. We still do not know much about the Omicron variant of COVID-19. It is still unclear how our existing COVID vaccines will affect this new variant. This new variant is more contagious than any previous strain discovered throughout the pandemic, including the Alpha and Delta variants.
A total of 110 countries have detected Omicron. Some countries have implemented lockdown measures to prevent its spread, such as Germany, the Netherlands, and South Korea. UK HEALTH SECURITY AGENCY reports that the UK experienced extremely high COVID infections across the festive period. The number of daily cases in England increased to an all-time high of 218,724 on 4 January.
During the last few weeks, it has become clear how the Omicron variant differs from the original COVID strain. World Health Organization estimates symptoms typically appear between two days and two weeks after infection with the first coronavirus strain. Omicron, however, is thought to occur within three to five days.
UK health secretary Sajid Javid said on 6 December that a recent analysis suggests the time window between infection and infectiousness may be shorter for the Omicron variant than the Delta variant. The brief incubation period of Omicron prevents most people from even knowing they’re infected, which is a vital contributing factor to its rapid spread.
According to Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, a shorter incubation period makes the virus harder to control.
The symptoms of Omicron also differ slightly from those of the other variants, making it potentially more difficult to detect. The most common symptoms of various COVID variants include coughs, fever, and any loss of sense of taste or smell. On the other hand, the new variant’s early warning signs include a scratchy throat, lower back pain, fatigue, a runny or blocked nose, a headache, muscle pains, sneezing, and night sweats.
According to current data on Omicron cases in Britain, patients typically recover within five to seven days. However, some symptoms like coughing and fatigue can persist longer. There have also been reports of shortness of breath lasting up to 13 days in severe cases.
A patient with COVID is typically believed to be infectious to others, beginning about two days before their first symptoms appear and last for about ten days afterward.
There is currently no cure for either Omicron or the still dominant Delta variant, but taking a booster dose of vaccine is the best option against Omicron at present. Three shots provide more excellent protection than just two, as studies have concluded that three shots offer a far greater level of immunity.
In an interview with BBC’s Andrew Marr, Mr. Javid said, “There are no guarantees in a pandemic,” so the public is also urged to follow the current restrictions. Among these are wearing masks in public spaces, abstaining from unnecessary social commitments, and exercising extreme caution in the icy weather. A PCR test should also be obtained as soon as possible and self-isolation at home to protect others.