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Omicron.

This is the name that has made society

look

again

towards the coronavirus pandemic

.

The one that, for a few months, seemed to have left overshadowed by other current news, company dinners or the proximity of the Christmas holidays.

Some celebrations that could be in danger if this new variant is as fierce as it appears.


What we have already seen is that Ómicron has activated the alarm throughout Europe, especially after considering it the World Health Organization as a "worrying variant due to its high risk of spread".

At the moment what Science says is that we have more doubts than certainties.

What symptoms does omicron cause?

Muscle pain, fatigue and headache

would be the most characteristic symptoms according to the data that reach us at the moment.

There are also

feverish pictures and sore throats

.

In general, the symptoms are quite similar to those we already know, although in the detected cases it has been observed that they

did not present loss of taste or smell

.


Why are you so worried?

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 too

early to be absolutely certain

about Omicron and its impact, since scientific studies take time.


Do vaccines protect against this variant?

Lets start by the beginning.

The coronavirus has 4 proteins in its structure: S, M, N and E.

When we become infected, our body acts against all of them by creating specific antibodies against each one of them.


However, when

we get vaccinated

,

we are only injected with a virus protein (the S) and therefore we only generate type S antibodies

. And here comes the possible problem: Ómicron has its changes in this protein, in S.

If the changes are very large, our type S antibodies could lose effectiveness

when they try to kill the virus using the Omicron protein S gateway.

The key that we have generated with the vaccines could not fit well in the Omicron lock because of these changes, and this will translate into a decrease in its effectiveness.


Will new coronavirus vaccines have to be made?

Several of the vaccine manufacturing laboratories

have already announced that they are studying the new variant and if some kind of modification should be made to them

.


If necessary, about 150 days would be enough to update the messenger RNA vaccines to the new modifications that Ómicron presents in its protein S. Although it is too early to say nothing.


Does it spread faster?

There are not many studies available yet, but from what we have it seems that this new variant

is more contagious than those already known

.

It could make the virus spread faster from one person to another.


Are hospitalizations for this new variant increasing?

This is the positive part, and it is that, although it seems that it is transmitted faster, that does not mean that it is causing a more serious disease.

Where foci of the new variant have been found, hospitalizations have not increased excessively,

nor does it seem that the patients are more serious.


How many variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are there today?

Quite a few, but not all are considered "

Variant of Concern" (VOC) by the WHO

.

In this special list we have:

  • Alpha

    (first detected in UK, September 2020)

  • Beta

    (South Africa, May 2020)

  • Gamma

    (Brazil, November 2020)

  • Delta

    (India, October 2020)

  • Now to

    Ómicron

    .

Some of these variants and had small variations in protein S

.

Ómicron seems to accumulate up to thirty changes there, but some of them are the same that already existed in previous variants.


What can we do while we don't have more data?

Be patient and comply with known anti-Covid measures.

  • Do not forget to

    ventilate

    .

  • Wear a

    good, approved mask that fits

    the face well.

  • Get vaccinated

    against Covid19 if we have not already done so.


Ómicron 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 easily

, so accelerating the third dose in the West and stopping the donation of vaccines would leave countries with fewer resources to their fate.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

Know more

  • Science and Health

  • Covid 19

  • Coronavirus

  • Omicron variant

  • Vaccines

  • Europe

  • United Kingdom

  • Brazil

  • India

  • Masks

  • Lockdown

  • De-escalated

  • Unconfined

  • New normal

  • Sprouts

  • HBPR

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