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Everything You Need To Know About The Omicron Variant

The omicron variant of COVID-19 has become the dominant strain of the virus circulating in the whole of the world. It's more easily spread than previous strains because it has more mutations than any other variant so far. Many of the mutations are in the spike protein, which relates to how the virus is spread.

Everything You Need To Know About The Omicron Variant

Frequently Asked Questions About Omicron Variant

1. What are the omicron symptoms? Are they different in any way?

All of the variants, including delta and omicron, cause similar COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, fever and fatigue. There is some evidence that fewer people with omicron lose their taste and smell. Omicron is also less likely to cause severe disease such as pneumonia that may require treatment in the hospital.

In fully vaccinated and/or boosted people, omicron symptoms tend to be mild. In unvaccinated people, symptoms may be quite severe, possibly leading to hospitalization or even death. Omicron is also more likely to cause symptoms even if you've been exposed or tested positive in the past.

2. How Long Does Omicron Symptoms Last?

Most people who test positive with any variant of COVID-19 typically experience some symptoms for a couple weeks. People who have long COVID-19 symptoms can experience health problems for four or more weeks after first being infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

3. What is the omicro variant BA. 2? How is it different from the original strain?

The new omicron variant BA.2 appears to be about 50% more transmissible than the original omicron strain BA.1. Preliminary data suggests omicron BA.1 causes the same severity of disease and symptoms, but it's affecting younger people more.

We don't know how common reinfection is, but there are reports that several people have been infected with omicron BA.1, and within a month infected with omicron BA.2. It appears that this version of omicron is either so much more highly infectious that it can overcome vaccine or previous infection immunity, or it can evade immunity due to the mutations that it has.

4. Is the omicron variant able to spread more easily than other strains?

Omicron likely spreads more easily than the original COVID-19 virus. It appears to be much more contagious compared to the delta variant, as it quickly became the dominant strain in the world. The CDC said it expects that people can spread omicron even if they’re vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.

5. Does the omicron variant cause more illness than any other Covid 19 Variant?

Omicron is more likely to cause less severe illness compared to other variants. For example, preliminary data suggest that infection with omicron results in hospitalization at about half the rate compared to infection with delta. Given how infectious omicron is, it’s important for everyone to take all precautions, including getting vaccinated and wearing a mask.

6. Are the Covid 19 vaccine effective against omicron?

Since the omicron variant is so new, health experts do not have a clear idea how effective the vaccines are in preventing illness. There's a potential that COVID-19 vaccines might not be as effective with new variants. However, the more antibodies a person has, the more protected they will be. That’s why everyone is encouraged to get a COVID-19 booster shot once you're eligible.

Preliminary evidence suggests that vaccines are less effective against the spread of omicrons, compared with delta. But vaccines still protect well against serious illnesses such as hospitalization.

Conclusion

The more people who are infected, the more likely we are to see new variants. The message from health experts remains that everyone should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Every time COVID-19 infects someone, there’s a chance for more mutations, which can allow the virus to keep spreading. Stay vigilant and get vaccinated if you haven’t already.

Also read- All You Need To Know About COVID 19 Vaccinations And The Omicron Variant

What Led To The Emergence Of The Omicron Variant?

Disclaimer

This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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