With the emergence of a new and reportedly more dangerous Omicron variant of COVID-19, countries are plunging into panic and are taking strict measures like travel bans and testing to contain its spread. As of now, the Omicron variant has spread to over 30 countries and the number of cases in India crossed over 20 as of Monday, December 6. In order to contain the virus' proliferation, the measures suggested by health experts are making rounds again and states are ramping up their preparations in case India is hit by a third wave.
But before revising the precautionary measures suggested by the doctors and even the World Health Organisation (WHO), let us take a look at the symptoms that a patient experiences after contacting the Omicron variant.
Unlike the symptoms showed by previous variants of the coronavirus, patients infected with the Omicron variant will not lose the sense of taste and smell and will experience mild symptoms. In an interview with Republic Media Network, the Chairperson of the South African Medical Association, Dr Angelique Coetzee had said that one should consult a doctor after experiencing the following symptoms-
After living with the virus for almost two years, it is obvious that a more severe variant of the virus emerges after it mutates into a more deadly form. According to a recent report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Omicron variant, also called the "B.1.1.529" variant, is five to six times infectious than earlier variants, especially the Delta variant. According to the WHO scientists, the gene sequencing of the new COVID variant exhibited that it had more mutations than any of the previous variants and noted that the Omicron has 43 aa mutations in the spike proteins whereas, in the Delta variant, it varies from 18 to 10.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Omicron variant spreads more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus although the cause for it is unknown. As a precautionary measure against the new variant, the CDC says that vaccines are the best health measure to prevent its spread. In addition to this, wearing face masks in public places and getting a checkup soon after encountering any of the aforementioned symptoms remains the only option to contain the spread of the virus. However, recent cases of infection in vaccinated individuals have raised many questions about the effectiveness of vaccines against the Omicron variant.