Dec 17, 2021
Omicron is 4.2 times more transmissible than Delta and, as of today, has been detected in 63 countries in the world. The first case of Omicron was reported in South Africa on November 14. And, by November 26, WHO announced it as a concern.
We connected with Dr. Adrita Banerjee (MBBS, MD Medicine), Stroke Specialist to understand what Omicron is, its effects, concerns and the efficiency of our vaccination.
What is Omicron
Omicron is a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, commonly known as Coronavirus. And WHO announced this as a concern just a few weeks ago due to its transmissibility. It is considered to be the most contagious variant till date and has got the top officials concerned worldwide. Experts predict that it will surpass Delta in the race of transmission and based on their findings, they are not very worried in case of severity and symptoms.
Omicron is spreading fast and has forced many countries to implement travel restrictions once again. We’re in the last month of the year. That means winter, Christmas and New Year! However, we need to be alert and stay safe during these times and maintain caution during this festive season.
3 Reasons why Omicron is a concern
Based on the data provided to the Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE), at WHO, this variant is a concern due to three reasons:
WHO has reported that Omicron has multiple mutations that are transmitting fast but only some of them are quite severe. Even though early observations showed that the patients did not need oxygen or intensive treatment, experts and WHO officials have urged caution. Many re-infection cases have been found along with young people being infected with no significant risk factors. The widespread fear is that Omicron will lead to a new surge in infections and add to the hospital burden.
As studies on this new variant are underway, it cannot be said if the vaccinations are effective or not. The lack of enough evidence is also a cause of delay in the reports.
Currently, India has 87 cases of Omicron with states recording fresh infections on a daily basis. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal are the states that have reported Omicron cases.
What we know about Omicron
Medical professionals and experts are conducting studies to better understand the various aspects of Omicron but as of now these are the details we know:
In case you experience any of the COVID symptoms, you must connect with your doctor at the earliest.
How effective are vaccinations?
This is probably the most asked question in today’s time. As per the initial reports, those who have had COVID are at a higher risk of Omicron infection. Studies are underway to understand how effective our vaccinations are, against Omicron.
Diagnosis: RT-PCR is still one of the recommended tests to detect the variant for COVID.
Treatment: The treatment for Omicron is the same as that for previous variants. Corticosteroids and IL6 receptor blockers are used to treat severe COVID-19 cases.
6 Precautions to avoid Omicron
It is imperative to continue taking strict precautions at all times. Like:
Coronavirus attacks our immune system and weakens the body. Thus, it is important that we work on building and strengthening the immune system. We must eat more leafy vegetables, include dry fruits in our daily habits and maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Immunity boosters are a good way to keep your immunity in check. Ashwagandha tablets, vitamin C tablets, etc are quite beneficial for the immune system.
In case you feel any symptoms or have queries regarding Omicron, do consult top doctors on the Dhani app. With Dhani doctor, you can video consult any of our doctors in just 10 seconds who will be able to help you 24x7 with your health concerns. Download today to try free consultations for 30 days.