Omicron This is the name that has made society back to the look at the pandemic of Coronavirus. That, for a few months, seemed to have left eclipsed by other news, the company's dinners or the proximity of the Christmas holidays. Some celebrations that could endanger if this new variant is as fierce as it appears. What we have already seen is that omicron has activated the alarm throughout Europe, especially after considering it the World Health Organization as a "worrying variant by their risk of high propagation". At the moment what science says is that we have more doubts than certainties.
Muscle pain, fatigue and headache would be the most characteristic symptoms according to the data that comes to us at the moment. There are also febrile boxes and sore throats. In general, symptoms are quite similar to those that we already know, although in the detected cases it has been observed that they did not show loss of taste or smell.
Because the structure of the virus has changed, and although this has already happened several times, this change seems to threaten the immunity of vaccines and the transmission of the disease. Although it is still early to have absolute certainties about omicron and its impact, since scientific studies take their time.
Lets start by the beginning. The Coronavirus has 4 proteins in its structure: S, M, N and E. When we infected, our body acts against all by creating specific antibodies against each of them. However, when we vaccinate ourselves only a virus protein (the S) is injected and therefore we only generate type S antibodies. And here comes the possible problem: omicron has its changes in this protein, in S.
If the changes are very large, our type S antibodies could lose efficiency when they try to end the virus using the omicron protein inlet door. The key that we have generated with vaccines may not fit well in the omicron lock because of those changes, and this translate into a decrease in its effectiveness.
There are not many studies still available, but from what we have it seems that this new variant is more contagious than those already known. It could cause the virus to be transmitted faster from one person to another.
This is the positive part, and is that, although it seems that it is transmitted faster that does not mean that it is causing a more serious disease. Where they have been located foci of the new variant have not increased hospitalizations or it seems that the patients are more serious.
Both, but not all are considered "worrying variant" (VOC) by WHO. In this special list we have:
Some of these variants already had small variations in their S. omicron protein it seems that it accumulates up thirty changes there, but some of them are the same ones that already existed in previous variants.
Having patience and complying with known anti-COVID measures.
Omicron has come to remind us of the importance of a global vaccination, especially in countries that do not have vaccines and where the immunized population does not even reach 10%. It is in those places where the virus becomes strong and generates changes and mutations with ease, so accelerating the third dose in the West and stopping the donation of vaccines would leave the countries with fewer resources abandoned.Updated Date: 30 November 2021, 08:34