COVID-19 has been associated with more than 5.6 million deaths globally. Due to higher transmission, the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in a health and economic crisis that affects people’s lives. Unfortunately, mutations have been evolving since the start of the pandemic. A novel SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.529, also known as Omicron, was first reported by South Africa and Botswana. It becomes worrisome as it brings many mutations, including those that can decrease the efficacy of vaccines.
The Omicron variant poses a higher risk of reinfection and a faster doubling time than other strains of COVID-19. Currently, the World Health Organization recommends enhancing surveillance, sharing genome sequences on publicly accessible databases, and reporting suspected cases to the WHO. Other recommendations include identifying the symptoms of the infection and improving public health measures. If you have symptoms like runny nose, fatigue, headache, fever, and sore throat, get a PCR test to determine if you are infected or not.
Planning to travel means getting tested.
For more than two years of mobility restrictions, individuals are likely to suffer and feel lonely inside their houses. So, if you need to travel, you must get a fit to fly COVID test to assure that you are not a carrier of the virus. Hence, you can protect your family and others, as well.
Prevention is better than cure.
Despite the reduced severity of Omicron, people should still protect themselves from the virus. Here are the following health safety practices from WHO:
- Always put on a mask.
- Engage in social distancing
- Handwashing regularly
- Get vaccinated
- Take a COVID-19 test before attending a gathering.
Here is an infographic titled “Omicron Variant: What we know About the New Coronavirus Strain” by Harley Medic International for more information about Omicron.