Omicron-The New Variant Of Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic got all of our lives to a standstill. No matter how hard we tried to move on with offices functioning on a work-from-home basis. A new mutant still came up. Although vaccines have been a huge help. People are still looking for a greater cure. Amidst all of these, we seem to have come across a different variant. Read on to find out about the new variant, Omicron & how can you steer safe from it.

The Emergence Of Omicron:

The Timeline:
November 24, 2021: A new variant of SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.529, was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). This new variant was first detected in specimens collected on November 11, 2021, in Botswana and on November 14, 2021, in South Africa.
November 26, 2021: WHO named the B.1.1.529 Omicron and classified it as a Variant of Concern (VOC).
November 30, 2021: The United States designated Omicron as a Variant of Concern.
December 1, 2021: The first confirmed U.S. case of Omicron was identified.
December 31st, 2021: India confirms the 1st Omicron related death as covid-19 cases jump
January 7, 2022: India's daily COVID count crosses 1-lakh, Omicron tally at 3,000.

All about the Omicron Strain :

A new strain was detected in South Africa on 24th November 2021. The virus was initially called B.1.1.529 and was later termed as Omicron by the WHO (World Health Organization) using the Greek nomenclature. The strains before Omicron were known as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta variant, and so on.

As stated by the experts the origin of this strain is unknown but it might be capable of causing an endemic. Moreover, this strain is considered to be a potential one as it could spread faster due to its high number of mutations in the “spike protein”. The WHO has marked this as a cause of concern. This mutant has now largely spread across nations and can even be fatal. As a protective measure, many countries have initiated travel bans and other precautions as per the need. Nations like Israel, the United Kingdom, the US, Belgium, Botswana, Canada & Hong Kong are some of the countries. We recommend you carry out the needed precautions as well.

How is omicron different from the delta variant?

Delta, the lethal variant of COVID-19 was first discovered in India. This variant was majorly responsible for upper-scale infections and mortality. Whereas, the Omicron variant is known to be far more transmissible with a higher reinfection rate. A lot of details are still vague when it comes to the Omicron variant as it is still being studied. But there are certain symptoms that one could spot in a patient.

Symptoms Seen In The Omicron Strain:

Although some of the symptoms might sound similar to the ones seen in the previous strains of the virus. Certain newer ones might tend to occur. The symptoms of the Omicron strain could range widely between the following:

  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Breathlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or running nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

When Should You Seek Emergency Help?

We all feel these symptoms could be treated well with medicines. Well, they will subside over time with good medication and rest. In case you feel any kind of intense symptoms, make sure to seek help. In cases such as these seek a medical professional’s help immediately:

  • If you have any trouble breathing.
  • If you feel persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Unable to stay awake or wake up
  • Spot a Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on your skin tone.

Precautions To Be Undertaken During Such Times:

Safety is the best choice you can make. We recommend you to take up the following necessary WHO & Government-mandated precautionary measures.

  • Get vaccinated at the earliest if you haven’t.
  • Always maintain physical distancing.
  • Limit your travel outside as much as possible
  • Avoid crowded places.
  • Wear a mask when you step outside or meet any outsider
  • Follow proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • Do not ignore any signs of illness (fever, weakness, sore throat) and consult your doctor immediately.
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