Over 20 cases of Omicron in India: What we know so far about transmissibility, severity and vaccine protection

Several countries around the world, including India, have reported cases of the Omicron variant.

It is currently being investigated if current vaccines can work against the Omicron variant

COVID-19 Omicron variant: The worries over the Omicron variant of coronavirus are mounting, and so are the cases around the world. Accordingly, information about the variant, its severity and its transmission are going to emerge over the coming weeks as more and more scientists and health authorities start looking into it. So far, though, the health agency of the US – Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – has shared some facts that are known by now about the variant that is threatening to take the world back to March of 2020.

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Several countries around the world, including India, have reported cases of the Omicron variant. However, it is not yet known whether the Omicron variant is spreading more easily or not as compared to the Delta variant detected earlier this year. Delta is the dominant variant of the virus across the globe. However, CDC has said that the variant will spread more easily compared to the original strain of SARS-CoV-2.

The CDC has also said that it can be expected that anyone having an infection due to the Omicron variant is capable of transmitting it to others regardless of whether they are vaccinated or asymptomatic or not.

As far as the severity is concerned, more data is needed to determine whether Omicron is causing more severe illness or death as compared to other variants when it comes to infections, reinfections and breakthrough infections, according to CDC.

It is currently being investigated if current vaccines can work against the Omicron variant, and whether fully vaccinated people are safe against death, infection and hospitalisation due to it. However, the health agency has highlighted that breakthrough infections among fully vaccinated people due to the new variant might be possible.

It has also said that vaccines can be expected to protect people from severe illness, hospitalisation or deaths due to the Omicron infections. Studies on effectiveness of current treatments against Omicron are also being undertaken by scientists, the CDC said.

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