The Covid-19 continues to be the hot topic throughout the world even after more than one year of its inception. The intensity in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths at various instances forces healthcare professionals to keep a regular eye on current and potential coronavirus mutations and variants. Up till October 2021, four different variants were designated by the World Health Organization which was:
- Alpha (B.1.1.7)
- Beta ( B.1.351)
- Gamma (P.1)
- Delta (B.1.617.2)
The World Health Organization and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, regularly monitor these variations to check the increase in transmission of cases, deaths, and the effectiveness of the vaccines. In the United States, the variants were classified as:
- The variant of Interest: It is the variant that is not common in the country and may cause outbreaks
- The Variant of Concern:- Variant that shows evidence of increased transmission and more severe diseases.
- The Variant of High Consequence: Variant that reduces the effectiveness of vaccines and treatment.
What is the Omicron variant?
On November 24, 2021, another type of COVID-19 variant was reported from South Africa`s Botswana which was early detected in specimens collected on Nov 11-14, 2021. The World Health Organization named the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 as the “Omicron” variant on designated it a Variant of concern (VoC) on November 26, 2021.
Why the COVID-19 Omicron variant is concerning?
With the emergence of the SARS-CoV Omicron variant, panic gripped throughout the world as many countries switched back to the restriction mode and banned flights from southern Africa, Israel, Japan, and Morocco thus barring the entry of foreign travelers.
It is still not clear that how transmissible is the new variant and how much capacity is it has to cause serious illness. However, the initial reports indicate that the Omicron variant has an increased risk of re-infection among the people who had COVID-19 earlier. The Omicron variant is dominant in South Africa as the country saw a sudden and rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in November especially among the people who had already been diagnosed with COVID-19 infection in past.
Initial reports of several studies suggest that the new variant is less vulnerable to the body`s immune system. However, according to many South African researchers, the new variant tends to be more transmissible and spreads faster than the Delta variant which is regarded as the most contagious variant of the infection.
How fast is the variant spreading?
According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) of South Africa, the Omicron variant is spreading very rapidly as till mid –November, about 250 cases were reported daily. But on 26th November about 3,402 cases were reported in the country and on December 01-2021, the daily toll reached 8,561. Tom Wenseleers-noted a biologist of Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, says that the new Omicron variant can infect three to six times as many people as Delta, over the same period.
Omicron cases in India
In India, about 25 Omicron cases have been reported so far from five different states which are Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujrat, and Delhi. The Maharashtra state has reported the highest number of Omicron cases (12) while the Rajasthan, Gujrat, Karnataka, and Delhi have reported 9, 3, 2, and 1 omicron cases respectively. However, no death has been reported so far in India due to the COVID-9 Omicron variant.
Omicron variant Cases in Maharashtra-11
- Mumbai Metropolitan Region-4
Omicron cases in Rajasthan-9
Omicron cases in Gujrat-3
Omicron cases in Karnataka-2
Omicron cases in Delhi-1
Does the vaccine provide any protection from the Omicron variant?
It is not clear that the vaccine will provide an effective shield to the people who are exposed to the Omicron variant. However, it is expected that the vaccines can prevent serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths caused due to the Omicron variant. Robert Cyrill Bollinger who is Professor of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine expects that being fully vaccinated along with booster shots will help in reduced hospitalizations and deaths.
- Don’t go unnecessarily outside.
- Always wear a Face mask that covers your mouth and nose.
- Always wash your hands with soap or sanitizer.
- Stay away from the crowded places
- Always maintain a social distance.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth without washing your hands.
- Get vaccinated
The best prevention from COVID-19 is following the SOP`s and self-care. However, getting vaccinated will protect you from developing any serious infection. Moreover, certain effective herbs can help you to manage the COVID-19 infection naturally.
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The emergence of the Omicron variant has shocked the world once again due to its several mutations. Several studies are going on to study the potential impact of the new variant and how effective the vaccine would be against the Omicron. To know more about COVID-19 infection, its variants, home remedies, and diet plan for COVID-19 infection, you can consult our Ayurvedic expert at +917743002520 for free.