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The Omicron Variant: What you need to know?

Posted on 01/24/2022 by CMRI


Omicron upsurge is making headlines in our country and it has become a major concern for almost everyone. A variant of SARS-CoV-2, Omicron was first reported from South Africa on 24 November 2021. 2 days later, on 26 November 2021, it was designated as a variant of concern and named "Omicron" by the World Health Organization. The first case of Omicron in India was detected in Karnataka and within a span of about 1 month, more than 5000 cases have been detected all over the country. When you tune in to any news channel these days, you are quite likely to hear updates regarding Omicron. This has led to a sense of chaos and fear, which can be managed only by spreading awareness and educating ourselves.

Here are some important facts you need to know about Omicron:

The rate of spread is higher as compared to the other variants. The Omicron variant of Covid-19 spreads at a significantly faster pace. Transmissibility is a major concern as the global upsurge is increasing drastically. Near about 10,000 cases are detected every single day. If we talk about India alone, we have a transmission rate of 1.22, which is quite concerning. In a time span of about 5 weeks, India's tally has crossed 5000.

As far as the symptoms are concerned, it has been found that in some cases, these are quite different from the Delta variant. Some of the key symptoms listed by the World Health Organisation include the following:

  • Headaches 
  • Feeling nauseated 
  • Feeling dizzy and lightheaded 
  • Fluctuating fever 
  • Sore throat and cough

Omicron does not react well to monoclonal antibodies. Presently there are two monoclonal antibodies available, however, both of them are less effective when it comes to Omicron. No doubt, these have been of great help to patients with Covid-19 and also those falling in the risk category. Sotrovimab has been found to be quite effective against Omicron, however, it is not available in India yet. 

Getting your booster dose might help. Almost all the adults have got their shield against Covid-19 and the Paediatric Vaccination drive has also started. The vaccines have not only helped to bring down the cases of Covid-19 but also helped to alleviate the complications associated with the same. Experts are of the opinion that just like the vaccines have worked for other variants, these might work for Omicron as well, and as such, it has become extremely important to take the booster dose. 

Following the SOPs is still extremely important and you need to follow these religiously. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind:

  • Get yourself and your loved ones vaccinated 
  • Make sure that you get your booster dose as soon as you are eligible for it
  • Double the protection by wearing a double mask. Layer your normal cloth mask with an N-95 mask 
  • Always practice social distancing, especially when you are in crowded areas or travelling by public transports like the metro, or bus. 
  • Clean your hands more often avoid touching your face and eyes unnecessarily 
  • Watch out for the symptoms and seek immediate medical help if you are experiencing any. 
  • Avoid going out unnecessarily, so as to lower the exposure 

Omicron is preventable just like any other variant of Covid-19. All you need to do is be vigilant and make sure that you follow all the SOPs.