South African scientists were the first to sequence the new Covid version before it arrived in Europe in late 2021, uploading their data to GISAID on November 22. Since then, officials in various countries have reported hundreds of thousands of daily cases.
Researchers have found that Omicron poses a new threat, achieving enhanced vaccine escape by trading in some severity.
Reports, including one from the World Health Organization, have gone into greater detail about the damage it poses.
Omicron mutation, according to experts, allows it to evade the immunity given by both vaccine doses.
Early study indicates that it diminishes the efficiency of two Pfizer doses by 30%, and it may reduce the effectiveness of AstraZeneca to zero.
While the booster can restore it to 75%, the program is still far from complete, leaving many people vulnerable to Omicron’s whims.
The organization stated in a study released in late 2021 that none of the 38 countries affected by the variant had reported Omicron-specific mortality.
It has spread swiftly since then, and deaths are gradually increasing as the strain becomes the most transmissible of its kind.
However, current evidence suggests that the disease caused by Omicron is still milder than its ancestors.
According to preliminary research published in the United Kingdom and South Africa, between 30% and 70% fewer patients require hospital treatment.
Concerns remain, though, as Omicron has the potential to overwhelm hospitals in the US.
The findings from a real-world investigation of each variant revealed that people with the variant were 2.4 times more likely to re-infect with Omicron.
The findings, while not yet peer-reviewed, indicated that data pointed to a “substantial and ongoing increase in the risk of reinfection.”
The researchers also demanded an “urgent” study into whether Omicron could achieve the same feat with vaccinations.
They also said they’d have to look at the “potential implications of reduced immunity to infection on protection against severe disease and death”.
Officials suspect that the mutation is also responsible for other Covid symptoms.
The South African Medical Association’s head, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, recognized three symptoms related with Omicron.
These have been found to be less severe than those caused by the other types.
The symptoms include:
- Body aches
Omicron, whether more or less lethal, nevertheless produces nausea, and for many, the experience is excruciatingly painful.
Some people could feel poorly for weeks or months.
In a matter of days, a scratchy throat can grow into a full-fledged fever, and the sickness can persist as “long Covid,” which can be quite disabling, for months or even a year.
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