What Is The New Variant and How Worried Should We Be?
There’s a new kid in town and his name is Omicron.
Yes, this is the name of the new virus variant that is all of a sudden in the news.
Some are saying it’s a bigger threat than Delta, some are suggesting otherwise. With everyone in the world being diametrically opposed on what seems to be everything in existence, what are we to make of this new variant?
A friend of mine was asking me about it and he was saying that he saw it was 30 times more contagious and that antibodies that someone may have picked up from the Delta variant would not be effective against this one.
Well, I have an interest in the virus outside of having to write about it for articles for you all from time to time, so I do my own homework on things like this so I can parse out fact from fiction.
The World Health Organization has designated this variant as a “variant of concern”. So the question is, “Why?”. Well, the answer if pretty simple. A virus is given that designation when certain criteria are met. In this case, the reason for this designation is because from what they have seen so far, this variant is more contagious.
Now, I know that gets people worried right there, but don’t jump ahead yet because there is more.
We don’t know how potent this variant is actually going to be because it is still pretty early. But based on the data that we’ve seen so far, this one is not looking like it should pose too much of a threat. It actually looks like it’s weaker and more similar to the Beta variant than it is the Delta variant.
It is also possible that this variant may take over, being that it’s more contagious. If that’s true and it’s less lethal, this honestly seems like a great time to get the virus in order to get some antibodies. Reports suggest that the symptoms are more flu-like this time and even the loss of taste and smell don’t even occur or haven’t yet anyway.
The last thing I want to say is that we don’t know how current antibodies will react to it because we don’t know enough, especially regarding the phenotype. If that has changed, it is possible that the antibodies would not really respond well, but at the same time, if that were the case then it would likely make the whole thing a dud anyway.
Only time will tell.