You should know about omicorn variants and their symptoms - disease care

On November 26, 2021, WHO recognised the variety B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern, called Omicron, on the recommendation of WHO's Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution. (TAG-VE). Based on data supplied to the TAG-VE, it was determined that Omicron has a variety of mutations that could change how it behaves, such as how easily it spreads or the severity of the illness it produces. 

Many parts of Omicron are being studied by researchers in South Africa and around the world, and the results of these studies will be shared when they become available.

omicorn variants 

Transmissibility: It's uncertain whether Omicron is more transmissible (easier to pass from one person to another) than other variations, such as Delta. The number of people testing positive in affected areas of South Africa has increased, but epidemiologic studies are being conducted to determine whether this is due to Omicron or other factors.  

The disease's severity: It is unclear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease than infection with other variants, such as Delta. Preliminary data indicate that hospitalisation rates in South Africa are rising, but this could be due to an increase in the overall number of people becoming infected rather than an Omicron infection. At the moment, there is no evidence that symptoms associated with Omicron differ from those associated with other variants.The first infections were among university students, who tend to have milder disease, but determining the severity of the Omicron variant will take days to weeks. All COVID-19 variants, including the dominant Delta variant, can cause severe disease or death, especially in the most vulnerable people, so prevention is always essential.

Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection and its effectiveness; Preliminary evidence suggests that Omicron may pose a higher risk of reinfection (ie, people who have previously had COVID-19 may be more easily reinfected with Omicron) than other variants of concern, but data is limited. More details will be made public in the coming days and weeks.

Effectiveness off vaccines: WHO is working with technical partners to assess the impact of this change on existing countermeasures such as vaccinations. Vaccines, particularly those against the most common circulating form, Delta, are critical in reducing severe disease and death. Current immunizations continue to be effective in preventing serious illness and death.

Current tests' effectiveness:  As with previous variants, commonly used PCR assays continue to detect infection, including Omicron infection. Other types of tests, such as rapid antigen detection tests, are being investigated to see if they have any impact.

The efficacy of current treatments:  Corticosteroids and IL6 Receptor Blockers will continue to be effective in treating COVID-19 patients. Other treatments will be evaluated to determine their efficacy in light of the virus changes in the Omicron variant.

Recommended actions for countries Because Omicron has been designated a Variant of Concern, WHO recommends that countries take several actions, including improving surveillance and 

sequencing of cases; sharing genome sequences on publicly available databases, such as GISAID; reporting initial cases or clusters to WHO; conducting field investigations and laboratory assessments to better understand if Omicron has different transmission or disease characteristics, or impacts vaccin effectiveness. More information is available in the announcement from November 26.

To limit COVID-19 circulation, countries should continue to implement effective public health interventions based on a risk-based and science-based strategy. They'll need to build some public health and medical capacity to deal with an increase in cases. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides assistance and advice to countries in terms of both preparedness and reaction.

Furthermore, inequities in COVID-19 vaccine access must be addressed as soon as possible to ensure that vulnerable groups around the world, such as health workers and the elderly, receive their first and second doses, as well as equitable access to treatment and diagnostics.

Recommended actions for people 

Individuals can help to keep the COVID-19 virus at bay by keeping a physical distance of at least one metre between themselves and others, wearing a well-fitting mask, opening windows to improve ventilation, avoiding poorly ventilated or crowded spaces, keeping their hands clean, coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow or tissue, and getting vaccinated when their turn comes.

As new information becomes available, including following TAG-VE meetings, WHO will continue to provide updates. In addition, information will be made available via WHO's digital and social media platforms.

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