- WHO Designation Status: VOC – Variant of Concern
- Variant name: Omicron B.1.1.529
- First reporting country: South Africa
- First confirmed reporting time: 24 November 2021
- Designated by: WHO TAG-VE
The coronavirus variant designated after the Greek alphabet letter seems to have significant changes and an increase in its spike protein, approximately 30, which might impact how quickly it transmits to humans.
Many of the affected persons had gotten all of their vaccines, with at least one person in Israel receiving a third booster dosage.
According to scientific evidence, the new variation has been propagating at a higher pace than any other variety, including Delta, and has a significant potential to elude the immune response.
Data from South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Disease
According to the NICD, no unusual indications and symptoms have been observed due to a transmission with the Omicron variety. NICD also states that there are asymptomatic cases which is as same as the Delta variant.
What is TAG-VE
Technical Advisory Organization on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution is an independent body of specialists that observes and analyses SARS-evolution CoV-2’s on a regular basis, determining if specific mutations or permutations of mutations affect the virus’s behaviour and functioning properties.
SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Interest (VOI)
A genetic mutation that is linked with alterations in receptor binding, lower neutralization by antibodies developed against past illness or immunization, reduced therapeutic effectiveness, possible diagnostic influence, or projected rise in intensity in exposure or severity of the disease.
SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (VOC)
A variant with evidence of increased transmissibility, more catastrophic disease leading to more hospitalizations and deaths. This variant has a significant reduction in antibodies neutralization produced during preceding virus infection. The variant has reduced effectiveness in different forms of treatment or vaccines or may even lead to diagnostic recognition errors.
Image: Felipe Esquivel Reed, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons