Omicron virus has become a new topic of concern after two years of the life threatening coronavirus. Because of regular imposing of lockdowns, constant sanitization and masking ourselves everytime we go out, it has become the ‘new-normal’ and these safety tools have become an inseparable part of our lives. Now, a new variant of coronavirus has come to light a few days ago. Is it more perilous than the previous variant of coronavirus, or how will it affect our lives in the long run ? Just like me, there must be endless questions like these popping in your head. So, here is an ultimate guide to the Omicron virus that you have to go through.
What Is Omicron Virus ?
The name ‘Omicron’ is derived from the Greek alphabet. It ranks number 15 in the alphabet list. This virus is a variation of SARS-CoV-2. This was the virus that caused COVID-19. The World Health Organization names Omicron as the ‘variant of concern’ as most of the things are unclear related to it. The problematic thing about this variant is that it has profound mutation numbers.
Symptoms Of Omicron
Till now, no particular sign or symptom is found in the patients having this virus. Moreover, many cases are asymptomatic. However, there are a few predictions related to this virus. Some people show signs of fatigue, bodyache and immense pain. Contrary to the Delta coronavirus, the people having this virus have no signs of any variation in sense of smell or taste.
Many doctors suggested that after the examination of cases till now, Omicron shows minimum to no symptoms at all. And there is less need for patients to get admitted in the hospitals or any health care centres. Furthermore, there is a prognosis that it may show some intense effects when it attacks the bodies that were already diagnosed with coronavirus. Also, the symptoms may differ when it comes to differences in age groups.
Delta and Omicron are both variants of the same virus, coronavirus. But there is a difference between them. Delta was one of the deadliest viruses. But Omicron has a large number of mutations. Because of this, it can penetrate and proliferate anywhere it wants to. They multiply within a matter of seconds and every mutation is different from one another, possessing its own characteristics and sequences.
The researchers are working on it to find an answer to this question. The frightening thing about the Omicron virus is that it can reinfect the one who already had COVID-19. Moreover, the dreadful thing about this virus is its endless number of variations that it carries wherever it travels. 32 out of total mutations of Omicron attack the spike protein. This protein is the main site where antigens reside and antibodies work during vaccination.
Mutations Of Omicron Virus
According to studies, it is clear that this virus has 60 mutations in total, where 50 are nonsynonymous, 6 are synonymous and 2 are non coding.
Diagnosis Of Omicron Virus
One can figure out if they are attacked by the virus or not by taking PCR tests. Till now, this test has the capability to detect the variant.
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How Can One Prevent It ?
No matter what the situation is, prevention has always been better than cure. Also, the prevention methods are the same as that of coronavirus. The only thing which would be different this time is that we need to be extra careful from this virus. As the virus is more dangerous than the previous one, then we also need to be strict with the restrictions on our mobility. Hence, let’s have a quick glance at the points.
The most important precaution while preventing ourselves from this disease is appropriate sanitation. Keep your home, workplace and related places as clean as possible. Use sanitiser every now and then and do not touch anything with bare hands even after sanitization. Don’t touch your face frequently, and keep your hands aways from touching any part of your body. This is very essential because our hands are the primary breeding grounds of many kinds of viruses, and keeping them away and washing them properly can prevent a wide range of diseases.
Wear Your Masks Properly
One cannot stress more on any other point than this one thing: wear your masks wherever you go. Always ensure that you are wearing clean masks. Try to use cotton masks because the fabric doesn’t harm skin in the long run and it would provide comfort to your face.
Follow Social Distancing Strictly
Social distancing has been one of the must-do things in COVID-19. Well, it is important here also. Keep a distance of at least 2 feet from others and maintain the gap as much as you can. The best thing to practice this is to stay at your own premises.
The above three points are must, but there are some other things also that you should keep in mind. Firstly, do not go out too frequently. Go whenever it is urgent. Avoid crowded areas and try to eat less outside food. No matter if it is junk or healthy, outside food can also be a breeding ground for Omicron virus. Next, stay away from hospitals, clinics and other health care centers. This is because these are the places where maximum germs and viruses could penetrate your body.
Cure For Omicron Virus
For the patients suffering from serious COVID-19 symptoms, IL6 receptor blockers and Corticosteroids are effective. However, the research is still going on on the treatment of the virus from its root cause.
The first case of Omicron virus was found on 24th November, 2021 in South Africa. After that, a few cases from other parts of the world also came to light. In India, there are 5 cases of Omicron till date. Now, SA has a total of 227 cases of the variant, UK being the second with 160 cases followed by Zimbabwe, Portugal, Ghana and US with less that 50 cases.