What is new South African Covid-19 Variant – Omicron and who are at risk? - Fast&Up

What is new South African Covid-19 Variant – Omicron and who are at risk?

new South African Covid-19 Variant

The WHO (World Health Organization) has classified a new variant of the novel coronavirus, which belongs to a lineage called B.1.1.529, as a ‘variant of concern’, and named - Omicron. This variant was first identified by doctors in South Africa, but has rapidly spread to nearly a dozen countries including Italy, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, Britain, Botswana, Hong Kong, and Belgium. The epidemiological condition in South Africa has been characterized by 3 distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which on November 24, 2021 caused predominantly by the Delta variant. This variant has a large number of mutations, few of which are concerning. South Africa has reported a four-times increase in new cases over the last two weeks, coinciding with the emergence of Omicron (B.1.1.529).

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

  1. Scratchy throat
  2. Extreme tiredness
  3. Fall in oxygen saturation levels

WHO ARE AT RISK?

The people who are getting infected by the variant first are the younger group and, perhaps, the vaccinated, as per the sources. The risk to vulnerable populations, particularly in the regions with low vaccination rates is substantially high.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES:

The WHO has given a reminder to take measures to reduce risk Omicron, including proven public health and social measures like wearing well-fitting masks, physical distancing, improving ventilation of indoor spaces, hand sanitization (hygiene), avoiding crowded spaces, and getting vaccinated at the earliest.

To know more about covid-19 variants, visit – www.fastandup.in.

REFERENCES:

https://www.who.int/news/item/26-11-2021-classification-of-omicron-(b.1.1.529)-sars-cov-2-variant-of-concern

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/omicron-covid-variant-quixplained-explained-7648232/

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/symptoms-of-omicron-variant-5-points-2629428

https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/rest-of-the-world-news/omicron-virologists-share-who-is-most-at-risk-and-vulnerable-to-new-covid-19-variant.html

Bhatia Thorat

-Expert and Writer