How to prevent getting Omicron? : Understanding the Virus & Finding the Solutions
The rapid spread of Omicron in countries like South Africa, Denmark, United Kingdom and now in India, it’s unlikely that anything short of taking major immediate health measures will halt the growth of Omicron.
Omicron does not appear to be a variant that can be stopped by reducing capacity in high-risk environments like bars, gyms, and stadiums.
Whether you catch it, is a separate story, but it’s spreading so fast that unless you are working from home and get your groceries through contactless delivery, you are highly likely to come across someone with Omicron at some point in the next few days. So it’s better to keep your guards up now than to regret later.
What do we know about Omicron now?
So what do we exactly know about the virus? Understanding Omicron should be our very first step towards the fight against it. As it’s fairly new and we can’t say much about it until the scientists research it more but we have enough data to suggest how it basically works.
Omicron is widespread in the world. It has been found in other countries aside from Africa, mainly in Europe, and now it is spreading like forest fire in India. So one thing we know about Omicron is that it multiplies very fast and that’s why it is highly infectious and contagious. In India also, we can see the rise in daily cases of Omicron is constantly increasing.
This new variant has quite a lot of mutations relative to the original virus, Viruses always mutate and ‘test’ if each mutation gives them some advantage. If so, that mutation will survive at the expense of the others.
Omicron has more than 50 variants that make it different from the original virus, including more than 30 that are in the spike protein. Omicron’s mutations may affect different aspects of the virus – it may multiply faster or survive under harsher conditions.
Severity of Omicron:
More data are needed to know if Omicron infections, and especially reinfections and breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variants. But until now we’ve seen and talked to people with omicron who say, “ No, Omicron is not mild”.
Effectiveness of the Vaccines:
Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated are likely to occur. With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.
What are the precautions we should take?
It is likely that both COVID-19 and Omicron will spread & it’s already spreading. So taking precautions are more important than ever now. Here, we will be discussing some of the precautions you can take to prevent yourself getting infected.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or spending time in a public place. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places—elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
Outside your home, stay at least six feet away from people who don’t live in your household and wear a mask. Remember, some people don’t display symptoms of COVID-19 and may be able to spread the virus.
Everyone should wear a mask or other face covering in public settings, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Masks should completely cover both the nose and mouth. Continue to maintain six feet between you and others even while wearing a mask. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like cell phones, keyboards, doorknobs, groceries & other household items to protect yourself from getting infected. UV Sterilization is also one of the best ways to disinfect your stuff without the use of harmful chemicals.
Here, you can take a look at Arista Vault’s Shuddhi Basket. It is certified to clean & disinfect your stuff within minutes using the UV Sterilization technology which is NABL Certified. You can sanitize your groceries in it without using any harsh chemicals and also your office equipment like your laptop, notebook, diary, etc.
Researchers tested the ability of antibodies to neutralise Omicron among people with vaccination alone, and among vaccinated people who also had had a prior natural SARS-CoV-2 infection. “We included a total of 80 participants — 20 each with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (Covishield) and BBV152 (Covaxin) vaccination alone, and 20 each with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine plus natural infection and BBV152 vaccine plus natural infection.
Even if Omicron is spreading, being vaccinated prevents severe disease in 80%-90% of the people, Dr Garg said. “Boosting may be required in a sub group of people.
On that note, let’s wrap up this session. Stay Home Stay Safe.