Vaccination rates are improving around the world. We are happy to say that India has seen a slight improvement, but still has a long way to go to get up to the average of 55%. Recently, WHO designated Omicron – a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus – as a Variant of Concern.
Since Delta, we have all been on the lookout for what will come next. Experts are saying that Omicron is the next major threat. What does this mean for the future of India and the rest of the world? Let’s discuss what we know so far.
What Is The Omicron Variant?
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is always evolving. That’s because viruses are always mutating. Most of these mutations don’t change how the virus interacts with humans. It’s important to note that viruses can change over time and become better at infecting us. For example, the virus may find a way to invade our immune system more efficiently than it used to. It would be impossible and ineffective to track every change that occurs. That’s why the WHO takes a methodical approach and only monitors those that need to be tracked.
Variants of Concern are a category of variants that can spread more easily, can cause serious illnesses, or are difficult to diagnose with existing methods. One example is the Omicron Variant, which was first detected in South Africa and has spread to at least 30 other countries worldwide by December 2021. The first cases of the Omicron Variant were discovered in India in Karnataka.
What is it call Omicorn?
The World Health Organization created a naming convention for variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to simplify matters and help reduce stigma. Variant of Interest and Concern are now named simply after letters in the Greek alphabet.
Technically, the variants that we watch over all have long-winded names. Delta’s scientific name is B.1.617.2, while for Omicron, it’s B.1.1.529. The World Health Organization uses Greek naming to make things easier to understand.
A big reason to provide a timeline of a new strain is to avoid a blame game on a world scale. When a new variant is discover, the country where it first appears often gets an unfair association with that outbreak.
The previous variants of this virus were Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta. The newest variant was expected to be called Nu. However, the Greek letters Nu and Xi were skipped and Omicron was chosen as the name for this new virus. for checkup visit Our Packages
Omicron Vs Delta, Beta, and Others
Omicron has more mutations than previous variants. However, this could make the virus stronger or weaker. It is now Omicron’s turn to be discover by the world. Even so, with early detection comes more work to do. There just isn’t much information on Omicron available yet. Scientists and epidemiologists are working together tirelessly to compile more information that can help with our research.
Based on initial reports from the WHO, people who’ve had COVID-19 in the past might have a higher risk of catching the Omicron variant. The WHO’s report is preliminary, though. More research is need before they can make a full statement on the matter.
It is unknown whether transmission rates are higher with Omicron vs Delta or other variants. This is something we will know in the coming weeks if the genome sequence of the new variant causes more severe symptoms.
We know that RT-PCR tests are still able to detect the Omicron variant, but unlike previous variants, one gene of Omicron is not detect in this test (out of three target genes). This can be use to detect the variant quickly. The variant type can only be confirm after genome sequencing.
Lastly, the WHO also reports that vaccination is our best tool for fighting off this disease. The organization is still trying to figure out how this variant may affect vaccines, but vaccination is one of the leading forces in limiting the severity of symptoms and death.
There’s not much that we can know until the initial studies are complete and more data is collected. For new information always use trusted sources such as the WHO or government websites. Don’t trust unverified information like that found through messaging forwards and social media posts. We don’t need to panic, but we do need to keep following the standard COVID-19 protocols.
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