The World Health Organization has identified another COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.529 in November 26, 2021, known as Omicron, which is now a Variant of Concern. Omicron was initially identified in Botswana & South Africa. It has since been recognized in more than 110 countries.
Scientists have found that Omicron contains a combination of more 50 mutations. This includes older variants Alpha and Beta. In addition to the constant research, Omicron may cause an increasing number of cases and threat immunity, raising the concern about its high transmissibility.
On December 21, 2021 there were 12,947 confirmed cases. There are also 10,866 from the United Kingdom.
The Omicron variant is faster than the Delta version, with a doubling period of 2.5 to 3 days. Omicron spreads faster than Delta and could result in more infected people for healthcare facilities.
VACCINATION AND SYMPTOMS
Omicron has five symptoms: runny noses, headaches, fatigue, sneezing and sore throat which are milder than those of other variants. However, the public should still be safe and follow all health precautions. Omicron can evade neutralizing antibodies so even people who are vaccinated may still be infected. Everyone is at risk, no matter how vaccinated. If you believe you have symptoms, get a pcr test.
HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS?
There are other ways to protect yourself, your family and your friends against the Coronavirus-19 aside from getting vac cine shots.
- Always wear your mask.
- Maintain physical distance.
- Wash your hands frequently or bring an alcohol bottle whenever you go.
- Stay at home, especially if you don’t really have to go outside or if you’re not feeling well.
- Stay hydrated.
COVID-19 is being fought around the globe, and new variants are constantly emerging. Do not take this lightly. It is important to remain healthy and to follow the health protocol. Never hesitate to get a rapid antigen test immediately if you feel that you suffer from COVID-19 symptoms.
To know more about the COVID 19 Omicron variant, you can read this infographic from Harley Medic International.