What are the symptoms of the mutated corona strain Omicron?

And how are they different from the traditional symptoms of the Corona virus?

And what does the World Health Organization say about the symptoms of Omicron?

Did he grow up in Africa?

Have we really entered the Omicron stage?

How can mRNA technology be used to deal with this new mutant?

The answers are in this comprehensive report.

 OMICRON SYMPTOMS

According to the available data, it appears that the symptoms of Omicron are similar to the symptoms of other strains of the Corona virus, according to the Healthline website, such as:

  • fever

  • cough

  • shortness of breath

  • muscle pain

How do the symptoms of Omicron differ from the symptoms of the original Corona?

There is a difference between Omicron and other Corona strains, including the original Corona strain (which appeared in Wuhan, China), which are:

First.

No loss of sense of smell and taste

Dr Coetzee, a member of South Africa's Ministerial Vaccines Advisory Committee, alerted health officials to the "disproportionate clinical picture of the Delta strain" on November 18 when seven patients developed different symptoms, according to a report in The Independent.

Dr. Coetzee said that unlike Delta, patients had not yet reported a loss of smell or taste, and there was no significant decrease in oxygen levels associated with the new variant.

She added that all patients are eligible to receive treatment at home.

Secondly.

Symptoms are mild

"We've seen a lot of Delta patients during the third wave, and this (Omicron's disease) doesn't fit the clinical picture, and most of those who have it have very, very mild symptoms," Coetzee said.

What does the World Health Organization say about Omicron's symptoms?

According to a post on its website, the WHO says it is not yet clear whether infection with the omicron mutant causes more severe disease than infection with other mutants, including the delta mutant.

Preliminary data indicate higher hospitalization rates in South Africa, but this may be due to the increase in the total number of infections and not to omicron infection specifically.

"There is currently no information available to suggest that symptoms associated with an omicron are different from those associated with other mutants," the WHO added.

"The initial infections reported have been concentrated among university students - symptoms are usually milder among younger individuals - but it will take from a few days to a few weeks to understand the severity of symptoms caused by the omicron mutant," she says.

She adds that all mutations of the virus that causes "Covid-19" disease, including the globally dominant delta mutant, can cause severe illness and even death, especially among the weakest, and this makes prevention always the safest solution.

Did Omicron originate in Africa?

Last Wednesday, the United States announced the discovery of a case of Omicron, becoming the 24th country to report a case of the highly mutated strain that was first discovered in South Africa last week.

Questions now arise as to whether Omicron really originated in Africa, according to the National Interest.

And CNBC reported that experts claimed, in a press conference held by the World Health Organization in Africa last Thursday, that the origin of the new Corona mutant, Omicron, was unknown, and later criticized the travel restriction measures now imposed on many countries in southern Africa.

"Our global surveillance system is not yet perfect, and when we discover a new variant or virus ... we usually discover it within weeks of its development," Dr. Abdus Salam Joy, Regional Emergency Director of the World Health Organization in Africa, was quoted as saying at the press conference. "We are sure, when a country detects a new virus, that the control system in that country is good. This is what happened in South Africa, so this does not encourage the tightening of the travel ban, because that would be a punishment for a good control system."

"We can only (through) the investigations now underway to learn more about the origin of this virus," he added, "and it was not surprising that cases of the omicron mutant were now discovered in Europe and other regions" in the world.

Dr. Nixi Gumed-Moeletsi, chief virologist at the World Health Organization's Africa office, expressed a similar view, according to CNBC.

She said, "It seems that most of the countries that (in which Omicron infections appeared) now... came from abroad and did not reach them from here in Africa, so we do not know where (the new strain) started from, and we need good scientific evidence to conduct further studies of development." molecular of an omicron mutant".

Have we really entered the Omicron stage?

Balancing caution and optimism can be very difficult, when dealing with a virus about which we do not have much information.

And the writers David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters, in a report published by the British newspaper “The Guardian”, say that the race to understand the new mutated strain that was first spotted in South Africa, and called it Omicron, has raised fears of an increase in the spread of the virus and a worsening of the health situation in the world, if it turns out that this The mutant is more aggressive, or vaccines and drugs are not effective against it.

The authors explain that the increase in infection can result from two factors: the first is an internal factor, which is the basic reproductive number (R0) (in epidemiology the number of cases caused by one case during a period), which is generally known to scientists and health experts after 20 A month of countries dealing with the epidemic.

And this number was in the range of 3 in the stage of the spread of the original strain of the Corona virus, then it jumped to 6 with the Delta strain, and it can be higher now with Omicron.

Second: The new mutated strain can show a greater ability to evade the immunity that the body has, acquired from a vaccine or from infection and recovery earlier.

In South Africa, for example, only a quarter of the population received the “Covid-19” vaccine, but the country suffered from 3 waves of infection and the number of deaths in it reached 270,000, since May 2020. Despite this previous spread of a fortified wall against the virus, The number of confirmed cases in South Africa has seen a clear rise.


The authors suggest that this increase in infection within this country can be attributed to the previously mentioned factors, but to varying degrees, but what worries health authorities and doctors in particular is the factor related to evading the acquired immunity in the body.

The authors say that the initial statements indicate that Omicron causes mild cases of illness, but the length of time between the date of infection and the date of going to the hospital makes it difficult to detect infections in a timely manner, which increases the spread of the disease.

The authors warn that the increasing number of infections and the high number of hospital admissions will constitute a real challenge, and based on the rapid analysis of the results and statistics currently available, the possibilities of renewed infection with the Corona virus in light of this new strain have become high compared to previous periods.

Given these possibilities, it would be wise to exercise caution while we wait for answers to many of the most basic and pressing questions.

Pending all this information, the authors argue, the rapid spread of the omicron mutated strain in South Africa indicates that we have already entered the omicron stage.

How can messenger RNA technology be used to manipulate omicron?

In a report published by the American newspaper "The Wall Street Journal", writer Alicia Finley says that vaccine producers, including "Biontech-Pfizer" and "Moderna", which rely on "mRNA" technology, confirm that they are able to adapt to mutants. and provide protection against dangerous forms of infection.

According to the writer, the messenger RNA technology, "before its use in the development of Covid-19 vaccines, had shown promising results in the treatment of other infectious diseases, cases of cancer and multiple sclerosis", a technology whose appearance is attributed to an American scientist of Hungarian origin.

The omicron mutant - according to the writer - is an example of the effectiveness and adaptability of RNA technology, as omicron contains about 30 mutations in the spike protein, so it is difficult for the antibodies secreted by the vaccine to identify and eliminate the virus, but researchers confirm That messenger RNA vaccines can be modified to adapt to the mutated strain and provide the necessary protection.

In this context, the companies Biontech and Pfizer say they can start distributing vaccines that protect against "Omicron" within 100 days if the level of immunity provided by the current vaccines decreases.

Moderna, for its part, has begun testing booster doses designed to protect against new mutations of the virus, and has confirmed that it will develop a booster dose for Omicron, which may be available early next year.

The writer explains that changing vaccines that adopt traditional techniques, with such speed, is not possible, because their production and distribution usually takes between 6 months to 36 months, and the development of the vaccine may take a few years.

But with RNA technology, manufacturers need only about 6 weeks to adjust the dose to the new mutant and then move it from the lab to production.

 Messenger RNA vaccines send the genetic code that instructs human cells how to make the coronavirus protein, which binds the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors to human cells.

When RNA vaccines are injected into the muscles, human cells become small vaccine factories that produce “pseudovirus” particles, and in turn stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies that help fight the real virus, and when the virus mutates and new strains appear, scientists can easily change the genetic code in the RNA vaccine. The messenger.

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