There’s an upsurge of COVID-19 cases again in the United States, and the Delta variant is not the cause. The World Health Organization (WHO) has detected a new variant of the COVID-19 virus and called it Omicron. Its name may sound like one straight out of a sci-fi movie, but this variant is no laughing matter.
Health officials warn the fast-spreading Omicron may push the number of infections sky-high. Countries like South Africa, the UK, and Denmark have seen sudden spikes in new COVID-19 cases, with some areas reaching record highs. Here are some facts we gathered regarding this new Omicron variant.
What Is the Omicron Variant?
The variant of SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.529, was first detected by specimens collected from South Africa. WHO named it Omicron and declared it as a variant of concern (VOC) in November, on the evidence that it has a lot of mutations that may impact how it behaves.
How Did the Omicron Variant Develop?
Viruses mutate all the time, and Omicron is no different. When a virus spreads and causes a lot of infections, the likelihood of it mutating increases. The more people get infected, the more chances for the virus to become adept at infecting cells.
Where Is the Omicron Variant Now?
The coronavirus variant has already been identified in various countries around the world. WHO reported the first detection of Omicron in the United States on December 1. In the state of Illinois, the first case was detected on December 7.
Is the Omicron Variant Deadlier Than Other COVID-19 Variants?
Omicron overtakes Delta as the dominant COVID-19 variant in the United States. As of the second week of December, more than 73% of new cases in the country were caused by Omicron, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Early results suggest that Omicron might be less deadly than the Delta variant. Nevertheless, additional data is needed, and WHO warns that it shouldn’t be dismissed as “mild.”
Does Omicron Have Different Symptoms?
There’s little evidence yet to suggest that Omicron has different COVID-19 symptoms from other variants. However, there are patients who have tested positive for Omicron who didn’t have any symptoms at all. Therefore, it is necessary to get vaccinated when it’s available and continue to follow existing COVID-19 guidelines.
Do COVID-19 Tests Detect the Omicron Variant?
Universal PCR and antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests continue to detect infection of COVID-19, including Omicron.
Can Children Get Contracted with the Omicron Variant?
Research into the new variant’s transmissibility is on its way, and we will get continuous updates as more information becomes available. In the meantime, it is best to protect children by being more cautious with the people we interact with and following COVID-19 guidelines.
Where to Get Tested?
Early detection is the best tool in fighting the spread of coronavirus. Not sure if you’re infected or if the symptoms you’re feeling fall under Omicron or the other COVID-19 variants? Dynamic Diagnostics US is a Chicago-based, veteran-owned testing company that administers FREE Rapid and PCR tests for everyone, even without health insurance at hand. We want to make free COVID-19 testing accessible to everyone in the country, which is why we now have 50 testing locations across the USA that are doing everything they can to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 from one community to another. Give us a call at +1-800-601-6561 today.