The world is still fighting with SARS-Cov-2 and its variants, but now the evolution of Omicron is both unwelcomed and surprising. Dr.Tedros, the head of the World Health Organization said that the Omicron variant is spreading faster than the Delta variant and causing infections in people already vaccinated or who have recovered from the COVID-19.
“There is now consistent evidence that Omicron is spreading significantly faster than the Delta variant, and it is more likely people vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 could be infected or re-infected,” Tedros told the Geneva-based journalists.
Sowmya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the WHO, said that the variant was evading in some immune systems and mainly targeting people with weaker immune systems. It would be unwise to conclude that Omicron was a milder form than previous ones. Swaminathan also added that they do not believe that all vaccines become completely ineffective.
A study done by Imperial College London found that the risk of infection is five times higher, and it has no sign of being milder than Delta. However, WHO officials said the other forms of immunity vaccines may prevent Omicron spreading.
Abdi Mahamud, a WHO expert, said they’re seeing a reduction in neutralizing antibodies, most of the preliminary analysis shows that T-cells remain intact, and that is what is required.
What Is the Omicron Variant?
Many of us are still not clear about what an omicron actually is. In simple words, Omicron is a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19. WHO declared Omicron ‘a variant of concern.’ Here is what you need to know about omicron.
- The omicron cases have been in many countries across the world. In many countries it hasn’t been detected yet.
- It is still unclear whether the omicron variant is severe than other COVID-19 variants
- Based on the information available, Omicron is spreading more quickly than other variants.
- No proper evidence suggests that the Omicron causes different symptoms than other COVID-19 variants.
- PCR tests and antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests continue to detect Omicron.
Omicron vs Delta
There is still no proper evidence or study on how severe the new variant is. Omicron is said to have over 18 mutations in the spike protein, whereas the Delta has 18 mutations. That is why the Omicron vaccine efficacy is said to be immune to vaccine-induced antibodies. As of now, there is no such ‘omicron vaccine’, although two doses of the Pfizer vaccine or other vaccines offer protection against the Omicron strain.
How Does the Omicron Variant of COVID-19 Differ from the Delta Variant?
The Omicron variant has more spike protein than the Delta variant. Some preliminary studies say that Omicron is less severe than Delta whereas other studies say it is not. So it is still unclear whether Omicron is more severe than Delta.
Does the Omicron Variant of COVID-19 Spread Faster?
Yes, Omicron, the newest COVID-19 variant spread more than twice as Delta, which was considered the most contagious.