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Omicron Variant

Omicron Variant –

omicron variant is the new variant in the market.

After the Alpha, Delta, Gamma variants of covid, there’s a new variant in the Market.

The new Variant has been named the Omicron Variant Or the B.1.1.529. It was first discovered in Country Botswana. It is an African Country but Scientists from South Africa had deported this virus to the WHO first on 24th November.

Since then, this variant has been identified in Many major Countries it Means that this variant has already spread to many Countries Including Australia, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Britain, Israel, Belgium Czech Republic, and Hong Kong. These are only your known Cases.

In reality, by the time you read this article, this variant would likely have spread the almost all major Countries. On 26th November 2021, the World Health Organization or the WHO labeled this variant as a variant of Concern.

Types of Variant –

The World Health Organization Classifies covid-19 variants into 2 Main Categories. A variant of Concern and a variant of interest.

The variants of interest are those variants due to which Significant Community transmission of Covid-19 can be seen or it may even affect the transmissibility or the severity of the virus.

These variants may be potentially problematic. Currently, there are 2 variants of interest according to the WHO.

First is the Lambda variant. It was discovered in Peru in December 2020 and the second is the Mu variant found in Colombia in January 2021. But the truly problematic variants fall into the Category of variants of concern.

Till now, there were 4 variants of concern according to the WHO. Alpha, Beta, Gama, and Delta of these Delta was the most dangerous variant.

It was discovered in India in October 2020 and the deadly second wave of covid that was seen in India because of this in Delta variant.

The Alpha variant was discovered in the UK in September 2020. Beta in South Africa and Gamma in Brazil.

Till now, Delta has been the most dominant variant. Presently, the covid cases that are seen in the world, majority of those cases are of Delta variant. But now omicron variant has become the fifth variant to enter the VOC category.

About the Omicron Variant –

More than 50 mutations have been seen in this variant of the virus.

The spike protein, the spikes that you see on the surface that enables the virus to enter your body is observed very closely because the virus spreads with the help of this and 32 mutations have been seen in the spike protein on this variant.

If you compare it to the Delta variant, in the Delta variant 9 mutations were seen in the spike protein while there are already 32 in omicron. This is the reason it is claimed to be a huge jump in the evolution of the virus.

How easily can omicron variant spread?

Regarding this, the WHO states that we do not have sufficient data for this since it has been discovered very recently. But a case study was conducted in a Region in South Africa.

There the test positivity saw a significant increase within a week from 1% to 30%. WHO Clams that chances are this is much more transmissible.

A disease modeling scientist has estimated that this strain is 500% more transmissible as compared to the original Wuhan strain. The Delta strain was said to be 60% more transmissible than the Alpha strain. While the Alpha was 50% more transmissible than the original Wuhan strain.

In comparison to Delta, it seems to be much more transmissible. It is a piece of good news because the more transmissible viruses are often less deadly, and more deadly diseases are not very transmissible.

We still don’t know, whether the effectiveness of the vaccines in the omicron variant would decrease or not. Time would answer this too. It is estimated that we would get to know this within 1-2 weeks.

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