Because the Omicron variant was discovered just recently, there are still several questions that remain unanswered. This includes finding out whether it spreads from person to person and how often it appears.
Mahdee Sobhanie, MD, infectious diseases physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Verywell.
- The ability to transmit itself
- The level of difficult or traumatic events caused by the condition.
- Will current vaccines and COVID-19 therapies withstand the onslaught of this new form of influenza?
- Whether the difference with Delta will outcompete
What are Omicron’s Symptoms?
When Delta became the predominant allele found in a population, cold-like upper respiratory symptoms became more common, and its loss of taste and smell decreased.
“There are other factors that need to be taken into account, like vaccination status, age, and whether patients have other health concerns,” Sobhanie said.
Omicron is one of the variants of Delta, with similar or identical symptoms. More data needs to be obtained to determine what the prevalence or severity will continue to be in each person with Omicron Delta.
Doctor Scott Roberts of Yale Medicine tells Verywell that early reports from patients with the OMicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 suggest they will have symptoms similar to those seen in other variants of the virus. “There are many reports of patients having no loss of taste or smell. However, these are anecdotal and should be interpreted with caution until more data is available.”
Researchers at a hospital complex in the capital of South Africa found that their COVID-19 patients were much less sick than those they’ve treated in the past. Roberts, however, said that these reports are still anecdotal.
Experts believe that the Omicron variant may be a more useful and dangerous strain of Zika because it has a higher mortality rate, is more easily transmitted, and develops potential faster than other variants.
“The older form of the SARS virus, called Delta, is not more contagious than the Omicron variant seen in South Africa. However, while cases are still exponentially growing in that part of the world, there are indications that this variant may be more transmissible than believed pre-release. So we need to continue studying these cases which increasingly seem to turn into pandemics without warning,” Rutgers Roberts said.
Get Your Vaccine and Booster
Current anecdotal reports and recoveries of mild cases of COVID-19 caused by Omicron don’t mean you should take the possibility of infection lightly.
“Anyone who has had COVID-19 is at risk for post-COVID-19 conditions,” Roberts said. “While those with severe COVID-19 are more likely to have the condition, even people with mild COVID-19 can develop post-COVID conditions. The best prevention is to not get infected in the first place.”
CDC says that even individuals who have asymptomatic infections can get a post COVID condition, and more research is needed to understand the causes, prevalence, and treatment of post-acute COVID syndrome.
Avoiding COVID-19 incidents is the best way to protect yourself from any long-term disease complications. Currently, the emergence of Omicron does not impact current prevention scenarios or safety precautions for COVID-19.