- The Omicron variant is a mutation of the COVID-19 virus and is known to have emerged from South Africa
- Since the variant has been detected at an early stage, researchers are still identifying its transmissibility, severity, and other characteristics
- As per researchers, existing vaccines are likely to provide some amount of protection against severe cases of COVID
Identifying the Omicron Variant
Just as the economy was recovering from the impact and destruction caused due to the Delta variant, a new variant called ‘Omicron’ has emerged in the spotlight. The Omicron variant is a mutation of the COVID-19 virus that has recently been reported to the WHO from South Africa. The new variant has been detected at an early stage and is therefore not yet confirmed regarding its severity and impact. Researchers are working on identifying and evaluating the transmissibility, severity, and other characteristics of the new variant and its resistance to the vaccines. It is still under research whether the Omicron variant is a more severe variant than the Delta variant or not.
To date, people who were tested positive for this variant showed very mild symptoms including extreme fatigue and tiredness with body aches and headache. These patients were easily treated at home and did not require hospitalization. Also, unlike the Delta variant, those who tested positive for the Omicron variant did not report loss of smell or taste and no major drop in the oxygen levels were observed. According to the recent cases, the new variant is observed to affect people below the age of 40 who were not vaccinated. However, this cannot be confirmed until the research on the variant is completed which could take weeks. Still, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci (a member of the COVID Response Team) suggests that “Existing vaccines are likely to provide a degree of protection against severe cases of COVID.”
Based on the latest findings, the WHO has listed certain safety guidelines and measures to be followed to prevent and reduce the risk and spread of the Omicron variant.
Every individual is required to follow measures to reduce their risk of getting infected that includes:
- Wearing well-fitted masks
- Hand hygiene and sanitization
- Physical and social distancing
- Improving ventilation of indoor spaces
- Avoiding crowded places
- Getting vaccinated
Apart from these safety measures, it is advised to keep a check on your symptoms and get it checked by a medical professional if it lasts for more than 2 days.
Mental Health Safety
With the new Omicron variant leading the headlines, people have started panicking remembering the nightmare of the Delta variant that caused widespread destruction. However, it is best not to panic and instead be aware and continue to take all the necessary precautions and safety measures along with getting vaccinated. One of the most important measures in addition to this is taking care of mental health. There was a massive increase in mental health issues after the outbreak of the pandemic. Mental well-being is equally important as physical health as it can impact the daily routine and activities of an individual. Prolonged stress and anxiety can take a toll on the immune system making an individual more prone to diseases and infection.
Some precautionary mental health safety measures can be implemented in the daily routine including:
- Staying away from speculating news stories and rumors
- Keeping a regular check on your symptoms
- Implement a healthy diet and lifestyle
- Exercise regularly
For more authentic and reliable information on COVID-19 and related issues, kindly contact the below helpline numbers:
For general questions about COVID-19 or the COVID-19 vaccine:
Visit the CDC COVID-19 website, or
Call 1-800-232-4636 (800-CDC-INFO)
To help find a COVID-19 vaccine provider in the US:
Text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX), or
Call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY: 888-720-7489)
For questions and concerns related to COVID-19 funeral assistance:
Call 1-844-684-6333 (TTY 1-800-462-7585)