The Covid-19 virus, like other viruses, is continually evolving. Its genetic code is possible to mutations, which can alter the way a virus looks or affects its hosts. Scientists are now keeping an eye on a new coronavirus strain known as Omicron Variant, and here’s what information we gathered about it.
The Omicron Variant
WHO has designated the COVID-19 Omicron variation as a variant of concern, based on evidence that it has numerous alterations on its behavior that might affect how it affects the host. There is still a lot of uncertainty about Omicron because it may still develop over time, and a lot of studies are being done to determine its transmissibility, severity, and risk of reinfection.
Where did Omicron Variant come from?
When a virus spreads and causes a substantial portion of the population, the chances of it evolving is given. The more chances a virus has to spread, the more chances it has to mutate.
New COVID-19 varieties, such as Omicron, serve as a warning that the pandemic is going to stay with us for a while. People must acquire the vaccination as soon as it becomes available and continue to follow existing guidelines for limiting the transmission of the virus, including physical separation, wearing masks, handwashing regularly, and keeping indoor spaces properly ventilated.
The severity of Omicron Variant
Early evidence suggests that Omicron is less severe than Delta, but further research is needed from our experts, the World Health Organization advises that it should not be disregarded as “moderate.”
It’s vital to note that all COVID-19 variations, including the Delta form, which is still prevalent globally, can cause serious illness or death, which is why limiting the virus’s transmission and lowering your risk of infection from COVID-19 is so important.
Chances of getting the Omicron Variant
The Omicron variant is spreading at a faster rate than the other variations. According to WHO, it is estimated that Omicron will likely exceed the Delta variant if COVID-19 transmission is present in the population, based on current data.
Vaccination and precautions like avoiding crowded places, keeping a safe distance from others, and wearing a mask, on the other hand, are critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19, and we know that these measures have worked in the past against earlier COVID-19 forms.
The Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine
According to WHO, Researchers are investigating if the Omicron variation has an influence on the efficiency of COVID-19 vaccinations. Although they are still researching about it, there may be a minor decrease in the efficiency of vaccinations in avoiding serious sickness and death, as well as a loss in preventing mild disease and infection. However, WHO said that the currently available vaccinations appear to provide considerable protection against severe illness and death.
Vaccination is also necessary to defend against other widely distributed variations, such as the Delta one. When it’s your turn, be sure to turn up on your vaccinations. If your immunization vaccine requires you to take two doses, make sure you get them both for improved protection.
If you haven’t received your vaccine yet, here are some information about COVID-19 vaccines you might be interested in Covid-19 FAQs: Comparison of Covid-19 Vaccines in the Philippines.
Prior COVID-19 infection vs. Omicron Variant
Early research shows that past infection may provide less protection against Omicron than other types of concern, such as Delta, according to the WHO.
Even if you’ve had COVID-19 before, you should be vaccinated. While patients who recover from COVID-19 may gain some natural immunity to the virus, we don’t know how long this protection lasts or how effective it is. Vaccines provide a more dependable level of protection.
Omicron Variant vs. PCR and antigen-based diagnostic
All COVID-19 variations that emerged, including Omicron, may be discovered using standard antigen tests. According to the FDA, while antigen testing is substantially faster, they are often less sensitive and less likely to detect very early infections than molecular tests for any variation. If persons test negative for COVID-19 but are suspected of harboring the virus, molecular testing may be effective in detecting whether or not they have it.
These tests, on the other hand, only reveal whether or not someone has COVID-19. They have no way of knowing whether or not someone has been infected with the Omicron variant since its genes are identical to the original.
The time for vaccine booster is now
If you received your 2nd dose of vaccine for at least 3 months now, you are now eligible for a vaccine booster. Boosters have been shown to protect patients from becoming critically ill when they have the delta variant, and new evidence is accumulating that this protection is likely to extend to the omicron variant as well.
In fact, Pfizer has revealed preliminary data demonstrating that three doses of its COVID-19 vaccine provide stronger protection against the omicron form than two doses, and Moderna has provided preliminary data showing comparable results for its third dosage. According to new findings, Johnson & Johnson’s booster dose may also be effective against omicron.
If you are looking to get your booster shot you might want to read this first: Covid Vaccine Booster Shots.
Protect yourself from this new COVID-19 variant (Omicron Variant) by exercising a few simple tips. After all, the best cure is prevention.
Protect yourself and others through:
- After being in a public place, or after coughing, blowing your nose, or sneezing, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are unavailable, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Unwashed hands should not be used to touch your mouth, eyes, and even your nose, as well as any surfaces.
Don’t get close to people as much as possible
- those who are ill It’s possible that some people who don’t have any symptoms can spread the virus.
- Stay as close to home as possible and prevent unnecessary travel.
- If you must go out in public, practice social distance by maintaining at least 6 feet — roughly two arm lengths — apart from people.
- Keep in touch with family and friends via video and phone calls, texts, and social media.
Wear a face mask
When you must go out in public, such as to the grocery shop, or when you are around others. In the event that you become sick, the cloth face cover will protect others.
Cloth face coverings should not be used on children under the age of two, anyone who has difficulty breathing, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Furthermore, do not wear a facemask designed for a healthcare worker.
Maintain a 6-foot distance between yourself and others. The face mask isn’t a gate pass for you to disregard social distancing.
Hands on your mouth when sneezing
Coughs and sneezes should be covered. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue and dispose of it in a lined trash container. If you don’t have a tissue and have the urge to cough or sneeze. Do it into your elbow rather than your hands. Wash your hands immediately.
Clean, Sanitize, Repeat
Disinfection practices are necessary even in non-healthcare premises, such as the home, office, schools, gyms, publicly accessible buildings, faith-based community centers, marketplaces, transportation, and commercial settings, or restaurants, to limit the risk of COVID-19 viral contamination. , kitchen and food preparation spaces, countertops, bathroom surfaces, door and window handles, toilets and taps, personal computer keyboards, touchscreen personal gadgets, and work surfaces should all be disinfected as a priority every once in a while.
Alcohol at 70-90 percent can also be utilized for surface cleaning in non-healthcare situations. To eliminate filth, clean the surfaces with water and soap or a detergent first, then disinfect. Cleaning should always begin with the least soiled (cleanest) area and work its way up to the most soiled (dirtiest) area to avoid spreading the dirt to less soiled areas.
All disinfectant solutions should be kept in opaque containers in a well-ventilated, covered place away from direct sunlight, and should preferably be produced fresh every day.
Read Also: Creating a Cleaner and Safer Home During the Pandemic
For COVID-19, it is not suggested to spray disinfectants on surfaces on a regular basis in interior settings. These should be done with a disinfectant-soaked cloth or wipe.
Necessary sanitation of grocery
Viruses that cause respiratory infections have never been found to be transferred through food or food packaging. Coronaviruses cannot reproduce in food; instead, they require an animal or human host to reproduce.
COVID-19 is hypothesized to be transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets. There is currently no indication that the COVID-19 virus may be transmitted through food.
It is critical to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 40-60 seconds before preparing or eating meals. Food safety and handling guidelines should be followed on a regular basis.
Individuals in Higher Risk of Omicron Variant
- Someone with serious underlying medical issues such as heart, lung, or liver illness; diabetes; moderate to severe asthma; severe obesity; and chronic renal disease requiring dialysis.
- Those with a weaker immune system, such as those receiving cancer treatment or those who smoke and people with illness resulting in low performance of the immune system.
When experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
COVID-19 Omicron variant behaves the same as other variants but with higher transmission. Some people are infected but show no signs or symptoms (doctors call that being asymptomatic). The majority of people will experience minor symptoms that will go away on their own. However, some people will experience severe difficulties, such as difficulty breathing. If you’re older or have another health problem like diabetes or heart disease, you’re more likely to experience more significant symptoms.
Symptoms of the COVID-19 Omicron variant include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Keep track of your symptoms, which may develop two to 14 days after exposure, and call for medical help if they worsen, such as breathing difficulties.
If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, get in touch with your doctor right away.
- Before going to the doctor, stay at home and phone your doctor for medical advice. People over the age of 65, as well as people of any age with serious underlying medical disorders, should seek medical help as soon as symptoms appear.
- Separate yourself from the rest of the household.
- Dishes, drinking glasses, cups, dining utensils, towels, and beds are examples of personal domestic things that should not be shared. After each use, properly wash the goods with soap and hot water.
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your sick room and designated bathroom on your own every day. Do the same for surfaces in other parts of the house with a healthy family member. If you share a restroom, make sure it’s clean and disinfected after each use.
- Before entering a health care provider’s office, wear a face mask and some other facility requires you to wear your face shield. if you are with other individuals wear it face mask and face shield as well. (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle).
As the number of Omicron variant cases rises, the appearance of a third COVID-19 pandemic grows. People are encouraged not to disregard the needed procedures in order to protect themselves against infection. Both the local and state governments have issued directions. Vaccination is also required for citizens. For the Omicron variety, obtain a booster if you’re qualified, and take extra precautions like wearing masks and keeping a safe distance.
Despite the fact that Omicron is the center of attention, the contagious delta form is still present. In many different regions, it is the primary cause of infection and mortality.
To safeguard our residents from any threats, common areas in all BRIA communities are well-disinfected on a regular basis. As a result of viral exposure, compliance with the forecasting enhanced community quarantine is ensured because BRIA communities have secured entrance and exit gates. Only BRIA residents are allowed to access and depart the developments, which must follow strict quarantine regulations.
Read Also: New Guidelines for Home Quarantine and Isolation
Here in Bria Home, we exercise maximum government safety protocol and health regulations. You may check houses on our website and schedule a virtual tour. We offer affordable house and lot packages and condominium units catered for Filipino families.
Written by Aaron Cruz