In November, the Omicron variant was identified in South Africa and Botswana. After some weeks, the Omicron infection spread all around the globe. It is spreading at a very high rate as compared to the previous variants of coronavirus.
Recent research on the Omicron variant described that it causes infection of mild severity as compared to the delta variant. But, still, there is a lot about this new variant of coronavirus that scientists have to find out and understand.
Scientists explained that the Omicron variant is made up of distinguishing combinations of fifty mutations or more. Few of them resemble the previous Alpha and Beta variants of coronavirus. Moreover, the antibodies of the vaccines also seem to be less helpful for this unique combination of mutations. But, they are protecting people indeed. The researchers also added in their findings that its structure enables the Omicron variant to spread at a higher rate than other variants.
A sudden outbreak of Omicron cases also disturbing the holiday season all around the world. People are sad because of thousands of Christmas Flight cancellations on Friday and Saturday globally. The Omicron variant is affecting over ninety countries around the world. The Center for disease control is still working hard to find out more accurate details about this latest variant of coronavirus.
Omicron variant after its discovery is causing the most transmissible infection, among others. As per the live Covid-19 data, the Omicron cases are increasing daily. Moreover, its susceptibility to vaccines is also very less. In this situation, when Omicron cases are increasing rapidly, several questions are arising in the mind of people.
Does the Transmission of Omicron variant is Faster than Previous variants?
No doubt, it has a high spread rate than the Delta variant of coronavirus.
As explained above, its unique biological features are the main cause of its abrupt spread. But, still scientists don’t know exactly that why Omicron infection is spreading so quickly. One possibility is its strong attacking ability on human cells, other includes its high rate of multiplication in cells.
The first evidence came from South Africa. In South Africa, the Omicron infection is spreading rapidly from one province to another. Several countries are now fighting with the abrupt increase of this latest variant of coronavirus in their population. The situation is getting worse day by day as after every 2 to 4 days the Omicron cases become double. But, Delta needs more time to double.
Will Immunity From Past Infections Stop Omicron?
The immunity that comes from the infections of past variants can help to provide a little bit of protection against the Omicron. On the other hand, the Omicron virus can evade this immunity easily. This is the main reason why omicron is spreading so quickly. Scientists of South Africa found that Omicron infected 70% of those people who suffered from Covid-19 previously. A large portion of present Omicron cases includes previously infected people.
British researchers also found that various survivors of Covid-19 are suffering from Omicron Variant. In the current wave of Omicron infection, scientists estimated that the infection risk from the Omicron variant is 5 times more than other coronavirus variants.
Scientists are also studying the antibodies that previously survived patients of Covid-19 have. Scientists mix the antibodies with all coronavirus variants to see their effects. The results explained that these antibodies can prevent people from infection of all other coronavirus variants. But, still, the Omicron can invade the human cells in lesser time than other ones.
All credit goes to the mutations that change the surface shape of the Omicron, and it can evade antibodies. The ability of the Omicron variant to dodge the immune defenses gives the best explanation that why Omicron has a high transmission rate? In addition to this, the Omicron variant is still successful in its attempt to send thousands of people to hospitals.
Are Vaccines are Effective in Reducing the Severity of Omicron?
Preliminary researches on Omicron suggests that vaccines are effective for Omicron Infection. South African researchers described that the use of the BioNTech vaccine reduced 70% of the hospitalization rate. These findings support the assumption that vaccines are effective against the Omicron infection.
Moreover, the vaccines are producing antibodies that are somehow fighting against this new variant of Coronavirus. They are stimulating the growth and production of the T-cells that will destroy the infected cells.
Researchers are at their initial stage of research. They are trying to examine the role and strength of T-cells in destroying the Omicron variant. No doubt, the vaccines of Covid-19 are fighting against this Omicron infection. The results of preliminary research show that T-cells can able to recognize the Omicron infected cells.
How serious will be an Omicron Case Become?
The research data suggest that Omicron infection can be severe for unvaccinated people. Moreover, the people who are still safe from Covid-19 infection can be the target of the Omicron variant. But, overall, the severity of the Omicron variant is milder than the Delta variant of coronavirus. Furthermore, vaccines and boosters can enhance immunity against Omicron infection. On the other side, the re-infection of previously infected people is also becoming common. But immunity from vaccines and past infection can help in lowering the severity of this infection.
What Does Omicron Variant Intent to do in the Months Ahead?
Researchers are busy in the mathematical estimation to find out what will Omicron variant do in the coming months. All these estimations are based upon the evidence of Omicron cases and the assumptions about this variant. In addition to this, scientists are already seeing a higher transmission rate of Omicron Variant. Also, it can evade the defenses of the immune systems.
All results of preliminary research are showing the mild severity of Omicron variant. But, despite the fact, it is infecting thousands of people all around the world. In the USA, the hospitalization rate of Omicron cases is much higher than the cases of Delta variant.
Moreover, the researchers warned people about the substantial results of the Omicron variant. They said governments and people must respond accordingly. In addition to this, they said that the findings are still at their initial level. There is much more to explore about this new coronavirus Omicron variant.
A significant message from all scientists and medical health professionals is that the people must follow precautions. If more people complete their vaccination course, the number of cases can change. Boosters are also playing an important role in providing defense against this disease. In addition to this, people must maintain social distance and wear masks during this holiday season to avoid any unfortunate situation.