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How serious Is omicron variant?
27 Jan' 21

How serious Is omicron variant?

 

 

 

Scientists have advised caution but not panic in the face of the coronavirus's omicron form. Here's a rundown of everything we know so far about the fast-spreading variant's potential hazards.  

The omicron variety of the coronavirus illness (Covid-19) has 32 mutations, according to researchers. The spike protein of the coronavirus has those mutations. The spike protein is used by the virus to adhere to our cells and infect us.  

 

What can scientists learn from the mutations in the omicron variant?  

A portion of the spike protein that interacts with particular antibodies and ACE-2 receptors has fifteen mutations. To enter the body, the coronavirus employs ACE-2 receptors, which can be found in our noses, for example. 

The alterations in omicron may make it simpler for the virus to infect us via ACE-2 receptors, according to microbiologists. It's also plausible that the new variety evades our immune systems better than other forms, according to the researchers.  

As a result, scientists are looking into three specific mutations in a Furin cleavage site.  

Furin is an enzyme required for viruses like SARS-CoV-2, as well as influenza, dengue fever, HIV, and many others, to fully operate – it essentially aids the virus's development as a disease in your body.  

As a result, experts believe that if omicron finds it simpler to infect humans and become fully functional, it will spread faster – it will have a higher transmission rate.  

 

Read more  What Is COVID-19 Variant R.1? Here's what we've learned so far

 

The impact of omicron is still unknown:

In several places in southern Africa, we've found high omicron infection rates. This shows that all of these explanations are credible. However, at this point, these are simply theories. They haven't been proven in scientific investigations yet. Those research will have to be confirmed as well.In a written reply to DW on Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, "It is not yet apparent whether infection with omicron produces more severe disease than infections with other variations, including [the delta version]" (30.11.2021).  

"Preliminary data suggests that hospitalization rates are increasing in South Africa," the spokesman explained, "although this could be attributable to an increase in the overall number of people who are sick, rather than a specific omicron infection."It's also unclear if doctors will have to change medicines to treat those who develop severe symptoms from the omicron form, although it's plausible. The novel variety, for example, maybe resistant to therapies now used to treat individuals with other versions. Immune, vaccination, or therapy evasion are terms used by scientists to describe this behavior.  

"At this time, there is no evidence that symptoms related with omicron are different from those associated with other variations," the WHO told DW. "Initially, infections were documented in younger people, who are more likely to have minor [infections]. However, determining the severity of the omicron variation will take days to weeks."  

Omicron and the delta variant share three alterations. Even though existing antigen and PCR testing can detect the omicron variant, one of these changes may be interfering with our capacity to detect the variant by counting antibodies. 

  

How effective are anti-omicron vaccines?  

Scientists claim that more data is needed before they can publish any conclusions.  

Moderna's chief executive officer has also warned that the efficacy of existing Covid vaccines against omicron could suffer a "material drop."   

Meanwhile, Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer's chief scientific officer, said in an interview with STAT, a science and health journal, on Tuesday that his company hoped booster injections would provide enough protection against the omicron form. 

 

Read more According to the CDC, side effects from COVID boosters are comparable to those from the second dose.

  

Is there a death to report?  

According to the WHO, no deaths have been documented as a result of the omicron strain as of November 28. The variation was discovered in the second week of November for the first time.  

When DW asked on November 30 if any deaths had been reported in the interim, the WHO said in a statement that "all variants of Covid-19, including the delta variant that is dominant worldwide, can cause severe disease or death, especially for the most vulnerable people, and thus prevention is always key." 

 

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