Recently, in Armenia, as all over the world, a new variant of coronavirus, Omicron, is actively spreading, which is considered to be a more easily spread, faster-curing type of virus. At the same time, however, most of the daily cases registered in different countries are Omicron.
In Armenia, the number of coronavirus cases has significantly increased in recent days, according to experts, the reason is the spread of Omicron in the country.
Fact Investigation Platform has summarized the hitherto known but not so well-known facts about the Omicron variant.
The last known coronavirus mutation, Omicron, was first recorded in late November 2021 in South Africa. The omicron variant has about 50 mutations.
Mutation studies are still ongoing and there are no definite results that show how many times faster Omicron spreads than other types of coronavirus, nor is there a clear comparison with the previous bariant of Delta.
It is known, however, that Omicron is considered to be a lighter and controllable type, and mortality rate, according to available data, is lower than in the case of other variants.
The symptoms of Omicron are similar to the symptoms of the common cold and flu and unlike other types of coronavirus, in the case of Omicron loss of taste or high fever are less common.
In the case of Omicron, the latent period of the disease may be shorter than in the case of other types. One of the peculiarities of the new strain is the high probability of showing false negative test results, especially rapid tests. At the same time, tests were prepared to specifically detect Omicron.
In general, in the case of coronavirus disease, the incubation or latent period can last from 1 to 14 days, but on average it is about 5 days.
The latent period of Omicron is considered to be three days, one day less than in the case of the Delta variant. In the case of Omicron, the infected person mostly infects 1-2 days before the appearance of symptoms and 2-3 after the appearance of symptoms.
Do vaccines help against Omicron?
According to the World Health Organization data, in the case of a new variant, vaccines developed for previous variants may not be very effective in terms of getting infected, but they remain essential to preventing severe cases. The WHO also said that this variant is spreading faster than its predecessors, so it can infect more people, including those who have recovered from other variants.
Studies show that vaccines are also effective in preventing severe cases of Omicron. According to a study by Imperial College London, a booster dose of the vaccine (based on the Pfizer vaccine) reduces the risk of complications from Omicron infection by at least 85%.
Another study found that Omicron infection required hospitalization for about 65 percent fewer patients than the Delta variant.
According to this study, the mortality rate among vaccinated people is about 83% less.
According preliminary data, people in Israel who received the fourth dose of the vaccine have more antibodies than after the third dose, but this may not be enough against Omicron-induced breakthrough infections.
Բեկումնային վարակ Է կոչվում պատվաստում ստացած մարդու՝ այն հիվանդությամբ հիվանդանալը, որի դեմ նա պատվաստվել Է:
A breakthrough infection is a person who has been vaccinated with the disease against which he or she has been vaccinated. An infection of a fully vaccinated person is referred to as a “vaccine breakthrough infection.”
It is noteworthy that in countries where the vaccinated population is large, with the thousands of cases of coronavirus being recorded daily, the number of deaths is much lower than in previous waves.