COVID 19: Omicron Variant
Author: Samantha Hampton
Samantha is a Human Biology major at the University of California, Merced and is a member of the Pre-Health Shadowing Leadership Team in the role of Chief Content Creator.
Over the past few days, many articles and new research has been published to the public regarding a new COVID-19 variant. Over the course of this year, the world has been dealing with the Delta variant of COVID-19 and articles about this variant can also be found on the Pre-HealthShadowing website at prehealthshadowing.com.
The new Omicron variant was first detected in the United States in the state of California from a person who had traveled abroad to South Africa. Their trip had taken place during mid-November(2021) . Due to this occurring in a relatively short amount of time, there currently is not a great amount of information about the Omicron variant, but it’s important to stay up to date with the Center of Disease Control and its reports involving this topic. Keeping up with current recommendations made by medical experts is essential to reducing the spread of such variants. Since mid-November, the Omicron variant has found its way to other areas of the United States, such as New York. According to CNBC, five different cases have now been recorded in New York City, with people from Queens, Brooklyn, and the Long Island area. New York is not the only state so far to have records of the Omicron variant present within their populations. The variant has also been reported in Minnesota and Colorado by people who have traveled outside of their own states . Another important piece to note is that Americans infected with the Omicron variant did not all come from the South African region, and the Omicron variant is popping up in other areas of the world.
Data from other countries are starting to show how the Omicron variant might be more transmissible than the Delta variant of COVID-19. So far, the Omicron variant has been detected in 38 other countries. Scientists have been able to predict this concept by studying the structure of the virus variant. The way the virus binds to human cells is different than when the coronavirus was first studied. It is too soon to discuss the symptoms associated with this variant, as all this information is currently being studied and evaluated. People who are infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 will most likely experience similar symptoms of previous variants with mild symptoms such as headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms . If these symptoms continue for several days, then one should have themselves tested and be in self-isolation. In doing this, the spread of the virus will be limited and other people are kept safe.
Overall, the Omicron variant is going to be a popular topic of conversation when discussing the effects of COVID-19. Currently, there is not a lot of in-depth information about the Omicron variant, which is from the fact that this is a new area of research and awareness. Pre-Health Shadowing is an advocate for keeping people healthy and as safe as possible. We want individuals to make the decisions that are best for themselves and the people they are around. As more information about the Omicron variant is discovered, we can continue to adapt to the trajectory of COVID-19.
1.“First Confirmed Case of Omicron Variant Detected in the United States.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 Dec. 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1201-omicron-variant.html.
2.Annikakimc. “New York Officials Confirm 5 Cases of Covid Omicron Variant in NYC Metro Area.” CNBC, CNBC, 3 Dec. 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/02/new-york-omicron-covid-variant.html.
3.Spencekimball. “Who Says Covid Omicron Variant Detected in 38 Countries, Early Data Suggests It’s More Contagious than Delta.” CNBC, CNBC, 3 Dec. 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/03/who-says-omicron-covid-variant-has-spread-to-38-countries.html.