What is the difference between COVID-19 and Omicron Variant?

Difference between COVID-19 and Omicron Variant

Omicron COVID 19
Variant type  B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2
It is unclear whether Omicron is more transmissible (easier to spread from person to person) than other variants, including Delta. It Spreads more easily than other variants. In comparison to other variants of concern, become reinfected more easily).
The current severity of illness and death associated with this variant is unknown due to the small number of cases. This variant cause more severe cases as compared to the other variants.
Breakthrough infections are expected in people who have been fully vaccinated, but vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. All vaccines which are approved by the FDA or approved by the government are expected to prevent serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. WHO in association with technical partners tries to better understand the potential impact of this variant on our existing measures, such as vaccines.
Sotrovimab, an antibody treatment developed by GlaxoSmithKline plc, is said to be effective against all 37 omicron variants. Medicine such as Corticosteroids and IL6 Receptor Blockers will continue to be effective in treating patients with severe COVID-19

Why its named as Omicron variant?

Omicron is originated from the Greek letter “O” and is the 15th letter in the Greek alphabet. There are two reasons why such a late letter was used. To begin, while not classified as variants of concern, other variants have been named. For example, there are Lambda and Mu variants, but we rarely hear about them because they are uncommon.

Nu is similar to the word ‘new,’ which may cause confusion, whereas Xi is part of the name of Chinese President Xi Jinping.They are attempting to distance themselves from politics.

Moreover, according to the WHO best practices for naming new diseases, with the purpose of avoiding offending any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups.

What are the tests to detect COVID-19 and Omicron?

Covid -19 test

  1. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are sent to a lab to be analysed in order to diagnose disease.
  2. Lateral flow tests (LFTs) can detect Covid-19 on the spot, but they are not as precise as PCR tests.
  3. Antibody (or serology) tests cannot diagnose active infection, but they can help determine whether a person is immune to Covid-19.

PCR testing: PCR tests which are used to directly screen for the presence of viral RNA in the body prior to the formation of antibodies or the presence of disease symptoms. This means that the tests can detect whether or not a person is infected with the virus very early in their illness. In a lab, substances known as reverse transcriptase or DNA polymerase are added to a nasopharyngeal sample during Covid-19 PCR testing. These substances work to replicate any viral RNA that may be present. This is done to ensure that enough copies of the RNA are present to indicate a positive result. as specially designed primers and probes bind to sequences of the virus’s genetic code to signal the presence of a pathogen

However, there are some limitations to PCR. These Covid-19 tests must be sent to a laboratory for analysis, which means that people may not receive their results for several days.

False negatives with various PCR tests can occur up to 30% of the time, indicating that they are more useful for confirming the presence of an infection than giving a patient the all-clear.

They can also produce false positive results because they are so sensitive that they can detect dead, deactivated virus in the body of someone who has recovered from Covid-19 and signal a positive result.

Genomic sequencing

Viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are constantly evolving. These genetic changes occur over time and can result in the emergence of new variants with distinct characteristics.

Scientists can determine whether someone is positive for Omicron or the more common Delta virus by closely examining the genetic material provided.

This procedure, however, it only provides information about the swabs that are analysed; it does not provide the clear and entire picture.

To decode the genes and learn more about the virus, scientists use a technique known as genomic sequencing. Scientists can use genomic sequencing to identify SARS-CoV-2 and track how it evolves into new variants over time.

Omicron test

  • Swabs from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests sent to labs for analysis can reveal whether the infection is caused by an Omicron, Delta, or other variant.

  • A full genetic analysis, which takes four to five days, is required to confirm that a suspected case is Omicron.
  • If you have symptoms, you can order PCR tests for free from the government website, or you can purchase one from a private company if you need one for travel. There are numerous models available.

Symptoms of COVID 19

COVID-19 has different effects on different people. The vast majority of infected people will experience mild to moderate illness and will recover without the need for hospitalization.

Most common symptoms:

  • fever
  • cough
  • tiredness
  • loss of taste or smell

Less common symptoms:

  • sore throat
  • headache
  • aches and pains
  • diarrhoea
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes are very less common symptomps
  • red or irritated eyes

Serious symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • loss of speech or mobility, or confusion
  • chest pain

However it generally takes 5 to 6 days on average after being infected with the virus for symptoms to appear, however, it can take up to 14 days.

Omicron Symptoms

These Symptoms are divided into three categories:  most common, less common, and  serious.

Most common symptoms

Fever, cough, tiredness, and loss of taste or smell are the most common symptoms of the new COVID variant “Omicron.”

Less common symptoms

Sore throat, headache, aches and pains, diarrhoea, a rash on the skin, discoloration of fingers or toes, red or irritated eyes are some of the less common symptoms of the new COVID Variant “Omicron.”

Serious symptoms

The new COVID Variant “Omicron” causes serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, loss of speech or mobility, confusion or chest pain.

How to be safe from Omicron?

  • People are advised not to disregard the precautions and guidelines issued by both the federal and state governments in order to protect themselves from infection.
  • Citizens must also get vaccinated for the Omicron variant if they haven’t already, get a booster if eligible, and take additional precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance.
  • Citizens are advised that, in addition to masking, avoiding crowds, and working on ventilation, testing is an additional precaution.
  • COVID-19 testing is recommended for anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms or has been exposed to the virus in any way.
  • Even if everyone is vaccinated, it could help ensure security before gatherings.

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