Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye! Before government authorities mandate masks or order shutdowns, and the fearful media whip up the masses, it seems some basic information about the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is in order. So here you go. Omicron: just the facts.
- Omicron is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. It is so named after the 15th letter in the Greek alphabet.
- There is some disagreement about where Omicron was first spotted. The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the first case came from South Africa, but others, including 4uhealth.com, claim the first case was reported in Botswana on Nov. 11.
- What has virologists worried about Omicron is its 32 mutations. The Delta variant, by comparison, had nine mutations. Without getting too far into the weeds, these mutations affect the “spike protein.” The reason that matters is because these proteins are used to develop vaccines.
- At this point, medical experts are concerned with vaccine resistance and the transmissibility of Omicron.
- South African Dr. Angelique Coetzee was the first to come forward publicly with knowledge of the new variant. In an interview with the BBC, she reported the following:
- Patient symptoms are quite mild. They include fatigue, aches, and pains, more of a scratchy throat than a sore throat, and no cough. As well, her Omicron patients do not report a loss of smell or taste.
- She characterized the overall symptoms as “very, very mild.”
- Clinically in South Africa, no one with Omicron has been admitted to the hospital.
- There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from other variants.
- Younger individuals tend to have milder symptoms.
- Preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron (i.e., people who have previously had COVID-19 could become reinfected more easily with Omicron), compared to other variants, but information is limited.
- Thus far, there have been no reports of death resulting from the Omicron variant.
- The current PCR tests are able to detect the Omicron variant infection.
It should go without saying that the response to the Omicron variant should fit the severity of the illness. Liberty Nation will keep you abreast of the facts as more information becomes available about Omicron.
~ Read more from Leesa K. Donner.