Covid-19: Difference between Omicron and Delta Variant

Published : Dec 01, 2021
  • 0 mins read
  • Updated On : Jul 27, 2022

    Difference between Omicron and Delta Variant

    With the various mutations of the Coronavirus landing a headline on major news televisions and news outlets, Omicron is the latest one fearing people across the globe.

    But what exactly is it?

    And how different is it from others, especially the Delta variant?

    A Quick Brief of Delta

    A Quick Brief of Delta

    In the beginning there was only the Alpha Coronavirus variant that wrecked panic around the world and as time evolved with researches working around the clock and rushing around to find a solution, a vaccine, the virus itself began to evolve.

    First it evolved into Beta, then gamma and into the most infectious of all the past variants: The Delta Variant. This was a result of constant mutations occurring within the molecular structure resulting in significant changes in the virus, making it better to adapt and stronger. This was in accordance to the basic Evolutionary rule: Survival of the Fittest and thereby, the coronavirus evolved and is still continually evolving to become better at surviving the vaccines and medicines. 

    A Quick Brief of Delta Variant

    The Delta Variant that hit the globe was the scariest than the ones before, all thanks to the masterful mutations it went through. The mutations resulted in the Delta variant getting better at infecting individuals at a quicker pack. Whereas, the previous variants had the ability to infect 2.5 people from 1 individual, Delta variant almost doubled its capacity with a rate of 3.5-4. This meant that the transmission rose higher.

    Apart from the transmission, the severity of infection also rose, with the unvaccinated individuals facing a threat of hospitalization due to a drop in oxygen levels as compared to those who are vaccinated. This ability of the Delta variant to spread rapidly with a high severity is what made the WHO term it a ‘Variant of Concern’.

    But while Delta is still the dominant variant across the globe affecting several individuals, let’s get to know about the New Variant in Town: The Omicron Variant and how it’s different from the former.

    Delta v/s Omicron

    Delta vs Omicron

    First detected in Botswana, South Africa, the Omicron variant came to the world’s attention due to the number of mutations the researchers detected in the virus.

    The Omicron virus didn’t show 2 or even 10 but a total of 30 mutations that made it better to adapt to the vaccines than the Delta variant. These mutations were detected in a certain region of protein spikes around the virus. It is these protein spike around the Covid-19 virus that is responsible for cell entry.

    Stupendously large number of mutations detected in the protein spikes only denotes that the Omicron variant might have a greater transmission, as a result making it more infectious than the Delta variant.

    Already detected in countries such as UK, South Africa, Germany, Italy and Belgium, Europe has become a new center for the spread of this variant with the current trends pointing towards higher transmission and infectious nature of the Omicron.

    The mutation not just affected the transmission ability of the coronavirus but also has a few modifications in the symptoms displayed by the infected individuals. According to Angelique Coetzee, the doctor who alerted the government about the new variant, the symptoms experienced by the patients infected by the new variant is comparatively mild with symptoms such as fatigue, body and head-aches along with occasional coughs and scratchy throats.

    The symptoms of the Omicron variant is comparatively slightly different from that of the Delta variant, with the latter characterized by a drop in the oxygen level, elevated pulse rate and a loss of smell and taste.

    While, the symptoms mentioned by Coetzee aren’t similar to the Delta variant, however, an official statement from the WHO about the exact nature and threat posed by the new variant is yet to be released.

    No matter the differences, one thing stays common in all this and that is: To Stay Safe and To Keep Your Family Safe by Following the Necessary COVID Precautions and Getting Vaccinated.

    Doris D Silva
    General Wellbeing

    Doris is enthusiastic about writing blogs on general wellbeing through her extensive research. She firmly believes in the importance of spreading correct, factual information and thereby, her blogs... Read More

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