Omicron: The covid variant

If you are wondering where this name comes from? Omicron is the 15th letter of the Greek Alphabet.

When the Novel coronavirus was found in December 2019, scientists understood this virus to be one with a long genome and they cautioned about the risk of variant strains.

We know viruses adapt to their environment by changing their genome, and this is why it is tough to get rid of viruses.

Even though there have been many variants of this SARS-CoV-2 virus as the novel coronavirus was named, the predominant variant is the Delta variant.

However, last month a new variant was identified, this was called Omicron.

What do we know about Omicron?

It’s a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes covid infection.

People who have not received their covid vaccine will get infected if exposed to the Omicron variant.

So far, evidence shows that the Omicron variant causes a mild infection in those vaccinated with the covid vaccines.

Those who have received their booster covid vaccine have a lower risk of Omicron variant infection compared to those who have not received their booster vaccine.

What should we do about Omicron?

There’s a lot of anxiety as we enter into our second year of this dreadful Novel coronavirus situation. We’ve been told that the covid pandemic which was declared in March 2020 might be around for a little while; until the global health stakeholders figure out how to provide vaccines for people globally.

We know vaccines work and in this case the covid vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective in preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and death from covid infection.

The covid vaccine has been approved from age 5 years and older. Booster vaccines have been recommended for people 18 years and older who have received their covid vaccine. Getting the covid vaccine and boosters is important as a first step to fighting this dreadful virus.

We are now used to wearing facemasks as the norm, other steps to take include physical distancing precautions, and hand hygiene.

Ensure chronic disease conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are in control.

Ensure health is in its optimal state by getting regular exercise, adequate hydration with water, and reducing the intake of salt and refined sugars.

Ensure other vaccines such as influenza vaccine and pneumovax vaccine are up to date.

Optimize respiratory health by quitting smoking.

Take care of our mental health by seeking out behavioral therapists and coaches.

Written By Dr. N. Onuoha.

Education content only.

Information presented may be subject to change as more data becomes available.

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