New Facts About Omicron: Emerging Symptoms and Protection
The mutative ability of viruses over time leads to the precise creation of new variants, fundamentally, changes in the gene of the virus bring about the strains. It is not strange for the SARS-CoV-19 to mutate, as pointed out by Dujong (2021), it is very important to note that Covid-19 has undergone various mutations since its first appearance and as an extension, Wise (2012) only a small proportion of the mutation would be significant enough to meaningfully change the virus for another strain; this attribute of change if quite pertinent to all ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses, a class for coronaviruses as well. Strains from the coronavirus’ mutation that has so far been regarded as “Variant of concern (VOC)” are at the moment 4 currently in the list, they include: BETA variant, detected first in South Africa in September 2020; GAMMA variant, first detected Brazil, in December 2020; Delta variant, first detected in India, in December 2020; and the last known as Omicron variant detected first in South Africa and Botswana in November 2021; according to the categorization by the world health organization (WHO).
Respective COVID-19 variants are understudied mainly for their rate of transmissibility, severity, and immunity, this understanding is crucial to the juxtaposition of the state of a mutation. The state or degree of danger of the Omicron variant is as known by far of an exogenous level, as much cannot be said about the new virus, especially in terms of severity and immunity; as of December 2021, the Omicron variant had been reported to have spread to about 77 countries already.
This bemoaning rate comes quite outstanding as regards the transmissibility degree when compared to the previous variants, especially the predecessor, the Delta variant. Observations from various experts placed Omicron as a variant with the highest or sharpest increase, the COVID-19 strain is understood to have a growth advantage over other variants, deducing a point as shown from observations would be that the variant transmits or grows exponentially.
Omicron strain as observed from various studies data obtained in labs from South Africa, Germany, and Sweden indicates that the vaccine’s effectiveness is being reduced against the variant. The data study report by Pfizer/BioNTech revealed that the protection scales the vaccine offered to the body was reduced when compared to the original Wuhan variant; this was done by taking a measure of the level of neutralizing antibodies in the bloodstream as pitched by two doses of its vaccine.
However, when blood drawn from vaccinated individuals are tested one month after receiving their third dose, the neutralization level becomes comparable with that of the Wuhan variant after two doses.
Although these studies do not provide the full story on how effective the existing vaccines might be against the Omicron variant, they, however, indicated how the current vaccines would fare against it; this is deductively so because the studies only took a measuring of one component of the immune response, which is the neutralizer; other essential components such as T cells, also triggered by vaccine likely also helps to prevent people from becoming seriously ill from the omicron variant, the result of these studies is yet to be scrutinized by other scientists for confirmation and validation.
Symptoms of Omicron variant as reported by South Africa’s largest health insurer from its preliminary data suggests the emergence of some distinguishable symptoms of the Omicron virus, this is however a non-certain concern to experts as these differences are yet to be ascertained for what they seem to appear as, the report suggests that the symptoms dry cough and muscle pain, low back pain, scratchy or sore throat along with nasal congestions were developed by South Africans infected with the variant, these symbols are actually not of any major difference with the previous strain and the original coronavirus too.
Suggestions emphasized that Omicron’s variant would however likely be more of the same with Delta’s and not any different from it. The examination of a little Omicron outbreak brought about a minute difference created by the virus; the pointed fact is that the strain may be less likely to cause a loss of taste and smell, even though the outcomes are quite unclear yet, the report showed that in Norway, about 23 percent of vaccinated patients reported a loss of taste while 12 percent did for the loss of smell, unlike the condition for the patients with original SARS-CoV-2 variant of which 48 percent reported for the loss of smell and 41 percent for the loss of taste.
Under the perspective of duration for the visibility of symptoms, the omicron has by far shown a shorter incubation period than other variants in the Variant of concern class. After the exposure of an individual to the virus, experts observed that it takes as few as three days for such individuals to develop symptoms, for the virus to become contagious and test positive, quite short a time when compared with the four to six days for Delta variant and the original virus.
Various accounts of people from the report by South Africa on the Omicron virus infers that the variant of SARS-CoV-2 is of a milder effect as against other previous strains. Emerging research has noted that the variant may cause less impact on the lungs, in effect resulting in less severe disease than series of previous mutations of the virus, according to NYTIMES, as at December 2021, three different research teams gathered that the virus variant was less likely to send patients to hospitals. Data gathered from South Africa as regards the degree of impact of the Omicron, after the control for vaccination status on the patients, the level of risk for hospitalization on adults infected with Omicron became lower than that of the initial wave of the pandemic by a rate of 29 percentage and these Patients in South Africa have been less likely to be admitted to intensive care. Cautions should still hang as regards the generalization of this result for global conditioning as the observation may not apply to other and every country due to distinguishing factors in the varying environments such as the Median age of people in the various countries.
The more the data from observations of the influence of the Omicron coronavirus across the globe, the more we know about the variant; research and study are being conducted in various countries of the word in an effort to understand the state of the current transmissible COVID-19 variant, the more data released about the pandemic variant, the more the can know of it, of the essence, the need practice relevant safety measures are needed for us to have a good hands on the control ability of the new strain of Omicron coronavirus.