As far as variants of COVID-19 go, Omicron grabs the attention worldwide, alone sounds as ominous.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classified Omicron as the powerful variant of COVID-19 which is a topic of concern for weeks ago, and experts from the Houston Methodist confirmed cases in the hospital.
Learn More About this New Variant?
“The Omicron COVID-19 variant has certainly been making the news, but how it compares to Delta remains to be seen,” said Dr. Wesley Long who is the diagnostic microbiology at the Houston Methodist.
The first case of Omicron was first found and confirmed in South Africa. It also has been detected in many other countries, including Canada, the U.S., and some parts of Asia and Europe. This new variant contains numerous mutations, that are concerning and majorly present in other variants.
“Beyond that, we really don’t know much yet,” added Dr. Wesley Long. “It will take a few weeks of observation before it becomes clear just how concerning Omicron is or isn’t.”
Unvaccinated People Are At Greatest Risk
It does not matter it is Omicron or any other new variant of COVID-19. One of the most pressing issues is that there are too many people left who are unvaccinated.
“We know the vaccines are safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus,” says Dr. Long. “Even if you’ve had COVID-19, get vaccinated. We know that the immunity offered by vaccination is stronger and lasts longer than natural immunity.”
Unvaccinated people are twice in the number who are unlikely to get reinfected with the Coronavirus than those who are vaccinated after the illness.
Moreover, COVID-19 boosters are the important component that can help in the continuation of the protection against COVID-19.
“People who are vaccinated are more protected from severe outcomes and hospitalization with Delta and there’s no indication yet that this protection won’t extend to Omicron,” says Dr. Wesley Long.
Regardless of the variant that is currently circulating in today’s environment, the best way to be safe from the virus is to have the awareness about surroundings and take all the appropriate COVID-19 precautions, such as:
One another and the most important safety measure is to get the proper annual flu shot. Because this is the flu season and influenza cases more and more are on the rise.
Dr. Wesley Long and the team from Houston Methodist found the first nine cases with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on Wednesday, Dec. 8. These cases initially were detected from samples that are collected in the month of early December.
They said that we people remain in the hypervigilant mode. Their outstanding team of esports is continuously sequencing samples to uncover most and most additional Omicron cases.
At the Houston Methodist, Dr. Wesley Long and a team of professionals are sequencing the viral genome of each COVID-19 sample that is collected from COVID-19 patients.
These efforts of massive sequencing efforts can help to track the prevalence of variants of COVID-19 and will be helpful in the quick detection of new variants.