The government said in a FAQ that the severity of the disease is expected to be low given the fast pace of vaccination in India and high exposure to delta variants.
Healthcare workers take cotton swab samples of passengers entering the city to test for COVID-19 at the Ahmedabad railway station. AP
After India reported two cases of Omicron variants in Karnataka, the Federal Ministry of Health and Family Welfare answered a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Omicron variants to relieve panic and anxiety. coronavirus ..
In the FAQ, the government expects the severity of the disease to be low given the fast pace of vaccination in India and high exposure to delta variants, as evidenced by high seropositive. I emphasize that.
Vaccination is also one of the best ways to protect yourself from Omicron, which has been designated as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization.
What is Omicron? And why make it a variant of concern (VoC)?
This is a recently reported new variant of SARS-CoV-2 called B.1.1.529 or Omicron (based on Greek letters such as alpha, beta, delta) from South Africa on November 24, 2021. This variant shows a large number of mutations, especially over 30 mutations, in the viral peaplomer, which is the primary target of the immune response.
Given the collection of Omicron mutations that were previously individually associated with increased infectivity and / or antigenic escape, and the sudden increase in the number of positive cases in South Africa, the World Health Organization is concerned about Omicron variants. Declared as (VoC).
Can Omicron be detected with the diagnostic methods currently in use?
The most accepted and commonly used method for diagnosing SARS-CoV2 variants is the RT-PCR method. This method detects the presence of specific genes in the virus, such as spikes (S), envelopes (E), and nucleocapsids (N). However, in the case of Omicron, the S gene is so mutated that some primers may result in a lack of the S gene (called the S gene dropout). This particular S gene dropout can be used as a diagnostic feature of Omicron, along with the detection of other viral genes. However, final confirmation of the Omicron variant requires genomic sequencing.
How much do you need to worry about the new VoC?
The World Health Organization declares variants as VoCs after evaluation in the event of increased transmissibility or adverse changes. COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) Epidemiology; or increased pathogenicity or changes in symptoms of clinical disease; or decreased effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, and treatments. (Source: WHO)
It is important to emphasize that Omicron was declared VoC based on the observed mutations, the predicted features of increased transmission and antigenic escape, and preliminary evidence of adverse changes. COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) Epidemiology such as increased reinfection. Conclusive evidence of increased remission and antigenic escape awaits.
What precautions should I take?
The precautions and procedures to be taken are the same as before. It is essential to properly mask yourself, to be vaccinated with both (if not yet vaccinated), to maintain social distance and to maintain the best possible ventilation.
Is there a third wave?
Increasingly reported cases of Omicron from countries other than South Africa, given their characteristics, could spread to more countries, including India. However, the magnitude and magnitude of the increase in cases, and most importantly, the severity of the disease caused, is not yet clear.
In addition, given the rapid pace of vaccination in India and high exposure to delta variants, as evidenced by high seropositives, the severity of the disease is expected to be low. But the scientific evidence is still evolving.
Are existing vaccines effective against Omicron?
There is no evidence to suggest that existing vaccines do not work with Omicron, but some of the mutations reported in the spike gene may reduce the effectiveness of existing vaccines. However, vaccine protection is also provided by antibodies and cell-mediated immunity and is expected to be relatively well preserved. Therefore, vaccines are still expected to provide protection against serious illnesses, and vaccination with available vaccines is very important. If you are qualified but not vaccinated, you will need to be vaccinated.
How is India responding?
The Government of India closely monitors the situation and issues appropriate guidelines from time to time. Meanwhile, the scientific and medical community is preparing to develop and deploy diagnostics, perform genomic surveillance, generate evidence of viral and epidemiological characteristics, and develop treatments.
Why do variants occur?
Mutants are a normal part of evolution, and as long as the virus can infect, replicate, and transmit, they will continue to evolve. Moreover, not all variants are dangerous, and in most cases they are unnoticed. They only become noticeable when they are more infectious or can be re-infected with people etc. The most important step in avoiding the generation of variants is to reduce the number of infections.
Input from the agency
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Will Omicron lead to the third COVID-19 wave in India?The center has all the answers for you
Source link Will Omicron lead to the third COVID-19 wave in India?The center has all the answers for you