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  The outbreak of Omicron, a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, was announced in November 2021 by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This was just when the 4th wave of the COVID-19 was setting in. Because of the complex nature of the variant, scientists and microbiologists across the world have contributed to discussing what this new variant is all about. Although, the disease is still new, and researches are still underway. In this article, we shall examine everything you need to know about the Omicron variant.
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First, scientists are yet to know if the Omicron is transmissible from one person to another, just like other variants like the Delta. The outbreak was first announced in South Africa and Botswana, and scientists are yet to know if the illness spread is Omicron related or other environmental and biological factors. Second, ecological and biological studies done in South Africa where the disease first broke out, and elsewhere claims that they are yet to identify the severity of the disease compared to Delta and other variants. However, there have been cases where many have been infected, but there is so much uncertainty if the infected individuals are suffering from Omicron. According to WHO, the symptoms of the Omicron is different from other variants like the Delta. Omicron has not shown strong signs of severity like other variants of the COVID-19 which have been identified as killer viruses that can cause severe illness and even death, especially in vulnerable people. Therefore, Omicron has been identified as a milder variant compared to other COVID-19 variants.
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The symptoms appeared to be similar to other coronavirus variants. Here’s a look at the top five symptoms:
  • Runny nose.
  • Fatigue (either mild or severe).
  • Sneezing.
  • Sore throat.
Third, preliminary evidence shows that those who have suffered SARS-CoV-2 are prone to contacting Omicron. Existing cases of Omicron stated that infected people are reinfected. Cases of Omicron infection have shown that the infected people had suffered COVID-19 in the past. Fourth, Omicron can be detected using the PCR tests. However, there are ongoing studies to deduce whether there is any impact on other types of tests, including abrupt antigen detection tests. Fifth, WHO studies have asserted that Corticosteroids and IL6 Receptor Blockers will still be beneficial for managing patients with severe COVID-19. Other treatments will be assessed to see if they are still as effective given the changes to parts of the virus in the Omicron variant.  Some antiviral drugs work by limiting a virus’ ability to make copies of itself (replicate) in the body. Remdesivir is the only such antiviral drug currently authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat COVID-19. Two other antiviral drugs, one from Merck and one from Pfizer, are under FDA review to see if they, too, can be authorized. Sources: World Health Organisation. Featured Image Source:
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This article was first published on 23rd December 2021 and updated on January 6th, 2022 at 7:29 pm

nnaemeka-emmanuel

Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.


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