The Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus is said to be the most different variant from earlier versions of coronavirus, but the good news is that the symptoms are not as severe as the previous variants. But the main problem with this variant is that it is highly contagious and is spreading way more quickly than the Delta variant. Some scientists believe that the Omicron variant is the fastest spreading virus in the history of the world. The reason behind Omicron not causing that many deaths or high intensive illnesses is the vaccination program most countries have utilized. Experts from Case Western Reserve University said that patients affected by Omicron are at less risk of being admitted to the hospital or intensive care unit compared to patients affected by the Delta at a rate of 1:2.
Research performed by the experts from Case Western Reserve University also found that a booster shot against Covid-19 will protect against the Omicron variant. These booster shots protect the human bodies from severe illnesses caused by Covid-19. The CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky stated that “Protection against infection and hospitalization with the omicron variant is highest for those who are up to date with their vaccination, meaning those who are boosted when they are eligible”. The third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine was said to reduce hospital admissions by 94 percent during the delta wave, and by 82 percent once omicron started spreading.
The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa and spread quickly throughout the rest of the world. It effects the upper respiratory tract of the human body which is what makes it less severe than the other variants. According to WHO’s data, Omicron has reached at least 128 more countries causing disruptions in normal human activity and the countries’ economies. Countries with high amounts of unvaccinated people are most at risk of increased deaths and hospitalizations. It seems that the number of cases in South Africa have decreased thanks to the lockdown and the booster shots, which indicates that this variant can be controlled if all the nations follow the right instructions and take proper precautions.
Director of the Basque Museum of the History of Medicine and Science, Anton Erkoreka says that the spread of Omicron has exceeded the spread of the bubonic plague, Black Death which was spread almost 700 years ago. Erkoreka stated that “It is the most-explosive and the fastest-spreading virus in history,” Currently in the USA, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has highly affected the population which has caused the government to declare an emergency for the 8th time. Even when the Omicron variant is labeled as less severe, it is still causing deaths and hospitalizations in vulnerable people with weaker immune systems and those who are yet to be vaccinated.