COVID-19 Protocols

COVID-19 Omicron Variant: Origin, What WHO Knows

The COVID-19 Omicron variant has become a cause of concern globally.

COVID-19 Omicron which started in South Africa is spreading across the globe.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has said research is ongoing for this variant.

In an update released on Sunday, the WHO said the Omicron variant is being detected by the PCR.

“The widely-used PCR tests continue to detect infection, including infection with Omicron, as we have seen with other variants,” the update said.

“Studies are ongoing to determine whether there is any impact on other types of tests, including rapid antigen detection tests.”

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The WHO had on Friday raised concern about the COVID-19 variant. Since its detection in South Africa earlier this month, it has become the most disturbing variant.

Now, Omicron leads as the most-troubling variant. This position sits ahead of other dominant variants. Below is a list of COVID-19 variant from worst to least disturbing.

  1. Delta.
  2. Alpha.
  3. Beta.
  4. Gamma.

The Omicron variant has spread across the globe and keeps scaring the world. The EU chief said that government faced a “race against time” to understand the strain.

Impact

The COVID-19 Omicron variant has forced countries to reawaken past fears of the pandemic. Measures that had become a thing of the past are being put in place. This is out of fear of this strain being highly infectious and contagious.

Uncertainties

The WHO has revealed doubt about the COVID-19 Omicron infection. According to a WHO update, it was “not yet clear” whether it spreads more from person to person. Also, there are doubts that the variant causes more serious diseases compared to other strains.

The United Nations Health Agency also expressed doubts about the severity of the variant.

“There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants,” the agency said.

There is evidence that suggests the variant is deadlier for past COVID-19 patients. However, information to substantiate these claims is limited.

Studies on the impact of the variant on existing treatments and vaccines are underway.

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Treatments:

The WHO said the treatments for managing severe COVID-19 patients would still be used for this variant. Also, research on other treatments would be tested. The treatment listed were:

  • IL6 receptor blockers.
  • Corticosteroids.

The health agency said that studies into this new variant would take weeks.

“WHO is coordinating with a large number of researchers around the world to better understand Omicron,” it said.

“More information will emerge in the coming days and weeks.”

Source: PUNCH HealthWise

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