Omicron Virus

Introduction – World Health Organization (WHO) designated B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern is called as Omicron on the advice of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) on November 26, 2021. The decision of WHO about this virus was based on the evidence that Omicron has many mutations, which may have an impact on how it behaves. WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution presented the evidence on this virus.

Information about Omicron 

Scientists in South Africa and all over the world studies about the Covid new variant of the virus omicron. If any findings are available about this virus, then they share these studies all around the world to prevent the spread of this new virus.

  • Transmissibility – It is unclear that whether this new virus is more transmissible as compared with old variants of covid-19 including delta. Due to Omicron, the cases of coronavirus increase in South Africa that are affected by this new variant. Researchers study about a new variant omicron to understand the symptoms, causes, and transmissibility of this new variant.
  • Severity of new variant – It is unclear that whether the infection of the omicron causes more severe as compared with other variants such as Delta. Initial data suggests that increases in the cases of covid-19 in South Africa because of the enhanced number of people becoming infected rather than a result of specific infection with the new variant. Now, there is no information about the causes, and symptoms of omicron are different from other variants. As per the initial report, this new infection was among students that tend to have more mild disease. and understanding the level of severity of this new variant will take days to several weeks. The old variants of the coronavirus are dominant all around the world such as Delta. Due to the Delta variant, there were thousands of deaths all around the world.
  • Effectiveness of prior SARS-CoV 2 infection – According to initial research, it suggests that if any person is infected with coronavirus previously then it may increase the risk of getting an infection with Omicron. But the information is limited is available about the new variant of the virus. There is more information is available in the future day and weeks.
  • Effectiveness of vaccines – World Health Organization (WHO) is working with several technical partners for understanding the potential impact of this new variant on our existing countermeasures including vaccines. Vaccines are an important factor to lower severe diseases and death against the variant Delta. These current vaccines may also be effective against this new variant.
  • Effectiveness of current tests – Due to the danger of this new variant, the PCR test is widely used to detect infection including omicron just like as other past variants. As per researches, to determine whether there is any influence on other tests such as rapid antigen detection tests.

Studies underway – Now, World Health Organization is coordinating with several scientists worldwide to better understand about the new variant virus, Omicron. At present, researches are underway for the severity of infection and assessments of transmissibility with performances of vaccines, diagnostic tests, and effectiveness of treatments. It also promotes worldwide for contributing the data of those patients who are hospitalized recently that infected with covid-19 via WHO COVID-19 Clinical Data Platform to rapidly describe clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients.

In future days or weeks, there is more information will emerge WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution will continue to observe and evaluate the important data about the new virus and share it all around the world. It also asses the mutations and behavior of new variant that helps in preventing the spread of the new virus.