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WHO Omicron Variant Update: Here’s What We Currently Know

WHO Omicron Variant Update: Here’s What We Currently Know

Researchers from South Africa have recently discovered a new COVID variant, known as Omicron. As of now, a lot of things still remain unclear about this new variant. However, the WHO or World Health Organization has released a statement detailing what we currently know. Here are some important things mentioned in the WHO Omicron variant update.

What is the Omicron variant?

First off, we first need to know what Omicron is. South African researchers were the first to discover this variant, where only a small percentage of the population has vaccines. This is because in places with a lot of unvaccinated people, the virus has free reign to mutate and evolve1.

At the moment, this new variant is still fairly new. This means that the information that we have about it is still very limited. However, the WHO Omicron variant update seeks to provide more information and answer questions that people might have about this mutation.

WHO Omicron variant update

One of the biggest concerns that people have is how transmissible is this new variant2. The more transmissible a variant is, the more likely it is to infect people, especially those unvaccinated. According to the WHO, cases of Omicron are increasing, but it is unclear if this is due to increased transmissibility or other factors.

With regard to the severity of this new variant, it is still unclear if this is the case. At the moment, there is no evidence to show that it causes more severe effects compared to other variants3. In any case, it is still important to recognize that all variants of COVID-19 can cause serious illness or even death. This is why it is important for everyone to get vaccinated, and constantly practice safety protocols.

An important point on the WHO Omicron variant update is with regard to reinfection. It is possible that this new variant might have an increased risk of reinfection However, more research needs to be done about it.

One of the biggest questions that people have is whether or not the vaccines we have will be effective. Even if this is a new variant, vaccines should still work the same4. All vaccines are effective against all variants of COVID-19, and can significantly lower the risk of infection and death. And with booster shots being rolled out in the Philippines, its important for everyone to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible.

As far as treatment goes, the same protocol for other variants will be followed. Of course, the WHO will provide updates as we learn more about the Omicron variant.

Is it something to worry about?

As with all COVID-19 variants, it is important for people to do their best to keep safe. This means practicing the standard safety protocols of social distancing, wearing masks, and staying at home as much as possible. People also need to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible, as the more people are vaccinated, the less chance there is for outbreaks to happen5.

One important thing to remember is that to still take the threat of COVID-19 seriously. Despite the looser restrictions, people should still be wary of large gatherings and going out to malls and restaurants. This is because these places carry a huge risk of infection, and the pandemic is still ongoing, even if a lot of people have already been fully vaccinated.

However, this doesn’t mean that people need to panic about the Omicron variant. Right now, we still don’t have a good idea of the risks that this new variant has. So the best thing to do would be to try our best to stay safe, and stay informed about the virus.

Learn more about Coronavirus here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources
  1. EXPERT REACTION: Omicron COVID variant – your questions answered – Scimex, https://www.scimex.org/newsfeed/expert-reaction-omicron-covid-variant-your-questions-answered, Accessed November 29, 2021
  2. Still ‘not clear’ whether Omicron COVID variant is more transmissible or more severe than Delta: WHO | | UN News, https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/11/1106672, Accessed November 29, 2021
  3. Update on Omicron, https://www.who.int/news/item/28-11-2021-update-on-omicron, Accessed November 29, 2021
  4. What to know about omicron, the new COVID variant | WUSF Public Media, https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/2021-11-26/what-to-know-about-omicron-the-new-covid-variant, Accessed November 29, 2021
  5. The Present and Future of COVID Variants | Harvard Medical School, https://hms.harvard.edu/news/present-future-covid-variants, Accessed November 29, 2021
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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Dec 07, 2021
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza