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How Infectious is the Omicron Variant?

The omicron variant is the latest variant of the coronavirus that has been caused by mutation and which might cause a new wave of COVID-19 infections. The variant has already been detected in over 50 countries, according to latest reports. Due to its nature of being relatively new, it is still being studied in great detail. 

How Infectious is the Omicron Variant?

Omicron Variant: Developments till Now

The Omicron variant is a recent mutation of the coronavirus that has been detected. The omicron variant was first detected in South Africa but has since then spread to over 50 countries across the globe. It might also have originated in Europe but had perhaps remained undetected till it had been found in South Africa. Pertaining to the development of new variants, UNICEF has stated that the chances of a virus mutating is vastly increased when there is a widespread circulation of the virus as has been seen during this pandemic. It is such a mutation that has caused the development of the omicron variant currently. This is not the first variant that has developed over the course of the pandemic which has been going on for almost two years now. With every new variant, there is the fear of a new wave of infection that may or may not be more severe than the previously existing ones. With the omicron variant too, such concerns are mounting. Although precautions are being taken and stricter regulations are being set in place, there is still much to know about this variant. Investigations are currently ongoing all across the world and citizens have been asked to stay alert to any new developments.

How Infectious is the Omicron Variant?

Reports say that the omicron variant can be up to 4.2 times more infectious than the Delta variant, which is the other dominant variant causing infections currently. However, symptoms from the omicron variant are mild. There have also been no reports of death for now, that has been exclusively attributed to the omicron variant. These are certainly hopeful observations but they are no reason to become complacent while tackling the virus. The primary cause of concern with this variant is its very fast transmissibility rate. It has already led to a surge of cases in South Africa as well as spread to other countries. Although it has been stated that it is yet to be found whether the surge in South Africa is due to the omicron variant or not, it is best to be careful because transmission rates have been observed as high for this variant. In most places, the cases that have been detected with the omicron variant are in travelers who have recently come back from abroad and those who have come in contact with them. This is why it has also become crucial to track and trace people with COVID-19 or those who are showing symptoms.

Endnotes

Everyday there are new observations and conclusions that are being reported with regards to the omicron variant. Since it has only been a few days since its detection, there are multiple investigations going on all across the world to find definitive results on it. Till then, vaccines have been considered as one of the best solutions, prompting everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Wearing masks is also crucial, whether you are vaccinated or not, to protect yourself as well as others around you. 

Also read: Are the Symptoms of Omicron Variant Any Different?

How Much Do Scientists Know About Omicron Variant Until Now?

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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