Round 5: Omicron The Newest Variant of Covid

Katy Daley, News Editor

The Corona Virus, also referred to as Covid-19, originally started in December of 2019. There are a few new variants of Covid and Omicron is the most recent that started at the end of November 2021.  A new variant for Covid happens when there are different symptoms and effects that happen from the disease. 

“The CDC has been collaborating with global public health and industry partners to learn about Omicron, as we continue to monitor its course. We don’t yet know how easily it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, or how well available vaccines and medications work against it,” states the CDC.

Since Omicron is such a new variant there isn’t much information the public has about it or how it is affecting people.

Omicron may be less likely than earlier variants to cause a loss of taste and smell, others symptoms so far are scratchy or sore throat along with nasal congestion, a dry cough and muscle pain, especially low back pain. ”

— The New York Times

“The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown. CDC expects state that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms,” explains the CDC.

Even though scientist do not have much information they do know that the spread of this variant is worse than the others.  

“Scientists first recognized Omicron thanks to its distinctive combination of more than 50 mutations. Some of them were carried by earlier variants such as Alpha and Beta, and previous experiments had demonstrated that they could enable a coronavirus to spread quickly. Other mutations were known to help coronaviruses evade antibodies produced by vaccines,” said The New York Times.

Different Variants of Covid (Photo Courtesy Of Google)

Omicron was so easily recognizable because of all the variations involved in the different strains of Covid. The mutations were seen in the other variations, but since all of them were combined they were noticed quicker. 

Omicron is highly transmissible and less susceptive to the vaccines already out for Covid.  

“A team of British scientists found that Omicron is particularly good at infecting cells in the nose, for example. When people breathe out through their noses, they can release new viruses. Omicron is also adept at dodging antibodies produced by vaccines and previous infections,” mentions The New York Times.

Since the virus can be spread through the nose it spreads much quicker also when people get the vaccine the antibodies in it help handle the virus the body simply denies the antibodies to help. 

Omicron is the newest variant of Covid and also labeled as the quickest spreading strain. Omicron is the fifth starin of Covid and scientists are still working to find more information about it.