Introduction – The first case of the omicron variant was identified in South Africa on November 24, 2021. After two days, World Health Organization (WHO) designated B.1.1.529 as a new variant of concern is known as Omicron on November 26, 2021. As per a study, this new variant has a large number of mutations with less severe as compared with past variants. The level of variation of this new variant has led to concerns about its immune system evasion, vaccine effectiveness, transmissibility, severity, and effectiveness of current tests.
Now omicron variant spread to several countries including India that may increase the risk of being infected with this new variant of coronavirus across the world. It also increases the threat of the third wave in India if we did not follow the instructions against coronavirus. As per the study, preliminary findings suggest that this new variant may be less severe as compared with delta but more data is needed about this new variant. This new variant spread more quickly as compared with other old variants such as delta as per research.
Information about omicron variant – Now several scientists worldwide study about the symptoms, transmissibility, severity of the omicron virus. They also study the vaccine effectiveness against this new variant.
- The severity of the new variant – Scientists did not get information about the severity of this new variant as compared with past variants including delta. At present, there is no information about symptoms, causes of this new variant as compared with old variants such as delta. According to preliminary data, the omicron variant tends to have more mild diseases among youths and will take days to several weeks to understand the level severity of the new variant.
- Transmissibility – It is not clear that whether a new variant is more transmissible than old variants of coronavirus or not. But as per initial information, the omicron variant is more contagious as compared with other variants such as delta. Now more data is needed about the transmissibility of the new variant.
- Vaccine effectiveness – WHO is working with several technical partners to understand or study the possible effect of the omicron virus on our vaccine effectiveness. These vaccines are helpful to reduce the death against the delta variant.
- Effectiveness of previous SARS–CoV 2 infection – As per the preliminary study, it suggests that if any individual is infected with covid-19 earlier then it may enhance the risk of getting an infection with the omicron variant but limited data is available about the new variant. In future days and weeks, there is more data is available about this new variant.
Studies ongoing – At present, WHO is coordinating with many scientists or researchers across the world for understanding better about the omicron variant. Now, scientists are ongoing for the severity of infection and assessments of transmissibility with diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccine effectiveness.
As per the study, omicron variant is spreading more faster as compared with other old variants of coronavirus. If any new information about the new variant, then it will share across the world. The new information of omicron then helps in assessing the mutations and behavior of this new variant and is beneficial in preventing the spread of the new variant.