Concerned about Omicron Key facts of the new strain explained

December 15 16:08 2021

Concerned about Omicron? Key Facts of The New Strain Explained

Omicron, a novel Covid-19 strain announced on Nov 24, has shortly sparked fears around the world and rattled the global market. By Dec 2, 375 confirmed cases and 1,256 probable cases were reported from 31 countries and regions. The new variant’s unpredictable spread has prompted multiple governments to impose stricter travel restrictions. Meanwhile, researchers and pharmaceutical companies have put issues of vaccine efficacy high on agenda. What must you know about Omicron in order to cope with it? Shanghai Dashunkang Medical Technology has summarized some key facts for people.

1. The origin of Omicron


Omicron is the novel mutation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19. On Nov 24, WHO received the report of B.1.1.529 (later coined Omicron) from South Africa, which was first found in a specimen collected on Nov 9. Investigation revealed that the detection of Omicron coincided with the recent upsurge of SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa.

2. The characteristics of Omicron

Omicron is characterised by more than 50 mutations, the most ever recorded in a variant and tripling the amount presented in Delta. Compared with other VOCs (Variants of Concern), Omicron has increased risks of reinfection, immune evasion and could spread more rapidly.

3. Can we detect Omicron?

Current SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests continue to detect Omicron, according to WHO. The variant can be indicated by the missing of three target genes for one common PCR test.


4. The symptoms of Omicron

Temporarily, there is no evidence that Omicron would present different symptoms to other variants, based on WHO. This means a new cough, a fever, and loss of taste or smell are still the main signals. However, we are far from certain about Omicron’s real impact due to its limited cases.

5. The efficacy of current vaccines

The utmost concern for many people is the efficacy of current vaccines. Unfortunately, several pharmaceutical companies have admitted Omicron’s potential resistance to their vaccines. The chief executive of Moderna predicted that the tackling of Omicron will be much harder, and the roll-out of new vaccines may take months. However, according to Pfizer, there is reasonable confidence that patients with a booster dose could have fairly good protection against the variant.


6. To what extend has Omicron spread

Based on the newest data, 375 patients are confirmed carrying the Omicron variant. 55.9% cases are in South Africa — which is the top share — followed by 10.9% in Ghana. Other countries reporting an increase in infections include Botswana (6.3%), the United Kingdom (5.9%), and Netherland (4.3%).


7. How Omicron might affect people travel

Shortly after WHO’s Omicron alert, multiple governments announced travel restrictions targeting South Africa and nearby countries, such as Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini. Individuals and businesses are advised to pay close attention to these policies.

Media Contact
Company Name: Shanghai Dashunkang Medical Technology Co., Ltd.
Email: Send Email
Phone: +86 021 6296 1280
Address:Building No.1, #3888 Humin Rd, Minhang
City: Shanghai
Country: China