The world has been held hostage by the coronavirus for the last two years. Even after the development of different vaccines, the virus is still wreaking havoc all over the world. The vaccinations and social distancing may have controlled the spread of the virus, but the discovery of new variants keeps derailing the entire rehabilitation process.
Since the last two years, there has been a range of coronavirus variants; some of them are mild while others are extremely deadly. You might have heard about the Delta Variant, which was first identified in India and closed down the entire country. The delta variant then spread throughout the world, causing many deaths. People hadn’t even forgotten about the destruction caused by the Delta Variant, but now we are hearing about a new variant being identified. I.e., the Omicron Variant.
Omicron Variant: What Do We Know So Far?
Where Was Omicron Variant First Identified?
The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa. It was initially deemed deadlier and more transmissible than the Delta Variant. However, further studies on the variant have shown that the symptoms for the Omicron variant aren’t as deadly as previously anticipated. Some South African doctors have also deemed the respective variant very mild. However, more research is needed to understand the variant fully.
New research also shows that the Omicron virus may have been in Western Europe (the Netherlands, to be precise) way before it was identified in South Africa.
World’s Reaction to the Omicron Variant
As the news spread about the Omicron variant, countries began to impose a travel ban on passengers traveling from the South African region. However, based on the research being carried out, it is anticipated that the travel ban will expand to other parts of the world. The variant has already spread to more than 20 countries. It may not have been found in other countries, but it is still speculated that the variant may also be present in other countries.
The medical experts believe that it is still early to say anything about the omicron variant with great certainty. Some experts say it is deadlier than the Delta virus, while others say it only has mild symptoms. However, everything will be clear in the coming weeks when more research is done on the variant.
The CEOs of Moderna and Pfizer have issued statements on the new variant. They have said that their companies are fully equipped to fight the new variant, and if the variant is more resistant to the vaccinations, both companies can develop a modified vaccination in about 100 days.
How Can People Protect Themselves from the Omicron Variant?
Everyone has to follow the precautionary guidelines already in place for the coronavirus. You can take the following steps to protect yourself from the Omicron variant;
- Wear masks
- Practice social distancing (Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter from each other)
- Avoid crowded places
- Improve ventilation in your surroundings
- Sneeze in a tissue
- Keep your hands clean
- Avoid shaking hands
- Get vaccinated
If you want to know more about the omicron variant, you can check the ‘Update on Omicron’ page on World Health Organizations’ website.
Also Read: FDA Authorizes At-Home COVID Tests