Omicron variant has shaken the world and caused concern all over. Here are all answers you are looking for omicron variant of COVID-19.
Omicron variant is coming as a shock to people once again. Even after 2 years of struggle with corona virus, this virus doesn’t seem to stop at any point. As soon as people take a sigh of relief and try getting back to their pre-COVID-19 routine, another variant strikes some part of the world and makes people think about the corona virus once again. People have many questions about this new omicron variant of COVID-19. We understand the concern of people, and to answer all the queries of people, OnlyMyHealth spoke to Virologist Dr. Pavithra Gopalan and Pulmonologist Dr. Vivek Nangia. Based on their knowledge, they answered most common question asked about Omicron variant of corona virus.
As we know that WHO has mentioned this new omicron variant as the variant of concern, people are very eager to know what they should be so concerned about this COVID variant. Dr. Pavithra answered that it is because of symptoms, and the tendency of the virus to behave. There are various mutations and variants of corona virus. We don’t know much about it as of yet, hence there is a huge possibility that it could change the style of living of people in upcoming days.
She mentioned that variant of the virus binds to spike proteins which is like a lock and key mechanism. If this variant chances spike of protein, then it could possibly result to severe complications and that could be concerning. It could even make vaccine ineffective it the mutation is resistant to protein spike.
Dr. Vivek Nangia mentioned that research is still going on to find out the exact symptoms of this new variant. However not much is known yet but symptoms could be similar to that of Delta variant. There would be some changes in symptoms but there are less chances it would be totally different. If the spike protein is more than 30%, then it could facilitate the entry of virus in the body and this could affect the person adversely. Mutations such as these modify the utilization of vaccination and hence could be threatening. Apart from this we still need to wait and see what omicron brings for us as the studies progress.
The best way is to practise COVID-19 adequate behaviour to reduce the risk of infection from this Omicron variant. You can follow these measures to prevent yourself from infection.
Isolate yourself even if you have slight symptoms of COVID-19. Even the symptoms are of common cold, flu, fever or any kind of infections, and then take necessary precautions.
Dr. Nangia readily accepted that there are numerous people who still do not take COVID-19 seriously. Especially as the lockdown and restrictions were eased, people thought of symptoms as common diseases and did not take necessary precautions. This should not be the case, because it may be possible that you have good immunity and you act as a carrier of corona virus for people around you. We don’t know about omicron variant much therefore it is better to take relevant precautions and be careful on every step we take.
Definitely, people those who have asthma, COPD or any kind of respiratory disease are at high risk of getting infected with COVID-19. Apart from this those who have any history of diseases are also at higher risk of infection from Omicron and other variants as well. Risk increases in people having inflammatory cascade because it increases the rate of complications in the body. A person who is at higher risk should also take these necessary precautions-
Virologist Dr. Pavithra told us that there is no particular need of taking booster dose as of yet. This is for two major reasons, first of all there are still many people in India who have not received their first dose or second dose, hence it could create shortage. Secondly we don’t know the efficiency of vaccine on the given vaccines right now, so until then there is not much sense of taking another shot just for the sake of it. Apart from this, people who are at higher risk such as doctors and front line workers need to get it first even if it becomes necessary.
It may be possible that you get a positive report even after your symptoms have gone. This is because the sequencing remains in your body. However if your getting tested for the first time, then the RT PCR report is almost accurate and to the point. Hence if the RT-PCR report shows you are COVID-positive, then it is correct. Hence make sure you follow strict guidelines for RT PCR tests given till now.
Other precautions that you should take and things you need to take care of are-
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