Since the beginning of 2020, Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the entire planet. While some countries suffered less comparatively, it was still a detrimental event. Even after 2 years of the outbreak, we are still forced to live with this virus because it continues to mutate and become dangerous with each mutation. First, it was the Covid-19, then, there was the delta variant, and finally, it is now called Omicron, and it is claimed, this is the most lethal one yet, therefore, it is a good idea to know more about this virus, and here are some facts about it:
One thing scientists had difficulty with apart from the killing properties of the virus in the first outbreak was its name, SARS-CoV-2. It is easier to pronounce it once or twice; however, when scientists needed to discuss it throughout the research, it made it difficult for them. Therefore, once the new variant was discovered, they decided to name it something easier, and in November 2021 it was called Omicron. It is the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet, why they chose the 15th letter after delta is unknown, but they didn’t settle for the 13th and 14th letters because those are called nu (new) and xi (a common surname), respectively. Omicron is definitely easier to communicate rather than B.1.1.529, the designation given to the virus.
2. More Contagious
While the severity of Omicron is proved to be less severe than Covid-19, it is the rate at which Omicron virus spreads that makes it a huge problem. Even with less severe symptoms, it can induce non-stop coughs and breathlessness, and to mitigate those conditions, hoards of patients are visiting hospitals, putting excessive strain on the healthcare system and medical supplies.
3. Vaccination to the Rescue
Although there was quite a clash between opposing beliefs when it came to vaccinations for the coronavirus, it is proven that the vaccinations do provide immunity against this virus. When the Omicron was introduced, people were still skeptical about the vaccination; however, scientists have proven that only a booster shot is required to enable our body to neutralize omicron. These are specifically designed mRNA booster shots. The messenger ribonucleic acid or mRNA is a part of the gene, and it is used in the synthesizing of a protein. Scientists also found that the people who haven’t had a booster shot, their bodies were showing very little activity against the Omicron virus.
4. Best Defense
Unsurprisingly, wearing a mask and washing hands still remain the best defense against Omicron. While some people consider it to be a completely new virus, it is still coronavirus but with several mutations. It behaves in the exact same manner, which is why vaccinations are highly recommended against it.
5. A little too Persistent
Whereas Covid-19 could last up to 3 days on surfaces like steel and plastic, Omicron can stay for up to an entire week on similar surfaces. A team of Japanese researchers published a study that examined the survivability of the original strain and the mutated virus. They found that Omicron can last up to 193 hours on plastic and an entire day on the skin. Fortunately, disinfectants and sanitizers are more than enough to remove this virus from any surface.
6. Therapy Doesn’t Work
Dr. Howard J. Huang developed a process to cage Covid-19 within the body in 2021, and it was known as Monoclonal Antibody Therapy or Monoclonal Antibody Infusion Treatment. In this approach, laboratory-created antibodies specifically designed to target certain infections are injected into a person, and these antibodies create a cage around the virus so that it becomes harmless. Unfortunately, Omicron has mutated itself as such that Monoclonal Antibody Therapy doesn’t work against it.