Omicron variant reaches India: Tips you must follow to prevent its spread

  • Timely detection of this variant is essential to curb its spread. Do not neglect any symptoms like cough, scratchy throat, and tiredness, and immediately consult the doctor.
According to an expert, Omicron is transmissible and can cause more severe disease than delta variant
According to an expert, Omicron is transmissible and can cause more severe disease than delta variant
Published on Dec 03, 2021 02:35 PM IST
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Omicron, the latest virus of concern (VOC) has now reached India as two people in Karnataka tested positive for the variant on Thursday. While both the patients have been showing mild symptoms, the Covid-19 variant is said to be heavily mutated and highly transmissible and people are advised to follow all the time-tested precautions and not delay testing in case of symptoms.

"Timely detection of this variant is essential to curb its spread. Do not neglect any symptoms like cough, scratchy throat, and tiredness, and immediately consult the doctor," says Dr. Niranjan Naik, Consultant Pathologist, Apollo Diagnostic, Pune.

Dr Naik says while the current RT-PCR test does not specify which variant has been identified, however, the PCR kit manufacturers are working on the issue and more information will be out once manufacturers publish their results.

There is also a fear that the existing vaccines may not work against Omicron variant.

ALSO READ: Will Omicron be as deadly as Delta? Virologist on symptoms, prevention and scare around the new strain

"As this variant has shown a number of mutations on the spike receptor-binding domain site, there is a possibility that few of the vaccines may be ineffective against this variant. But there is not enough data to prove this claim," says Dr Naik.

Can Omicron cause severe disease?

Experts say one should be prepared for anything and follow all the Covid-appropriate measures like social distancing, masking up, washing hands frequently and getting tested in case of symptoms.

"Omicron is transmissible and can cause more severe disease than delta variant. This variant was first identified in South Africa, it is known as a ‘variant of concern,’ by the World Health Organization (WHO), and is rapidly spreading to other countries. The ones who have been infected with this variant will showcase symptoms such as tiredness without low oxygen levels, scratchy throat, body pain, mild muscle ache and it is possible to recover without hospitalization," says Dr. Sanjay Nagarkar, General Physician, Apollo Spectra Pune.

Mask up, maintain social distance, sanitize hands, stay away from sick people, avoid traveling and crowded places, and getting fully vaccinated are one of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you, said Dr. Nagarkar.

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Thursday, May 19, 2022