The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is spreading at a rate not seen with any previous variant. According to scientists, the higher transmission rate of Omicron is largely due to the sheer number of genetic mutations it carries – about 50 overall, and 32 mutations on spike protein alone. For comparison, Delta had only 13 mutations. The combination of all the mutations in Omicron makes it difficult for our body’s antibodies to recognize COVID. This makes Omicron 20x more transmissible than the original strain of COVID-19 and 2.5 times as transmissible as Delta, irrespective of the vaccination status.
Omicron is causing symptoms that are much similar like a regular cold – runny nose, sore throat and persistent sneezing – particularly in people who’ve been vaccinated. In addition, symptoms such as muscle pains, nausea, diarrhoea and skin rashes, are also present in some cases. Though Omicron may cause cold-like symptoms due to higher level of immunity, the incubation period could be short or long depending on variables such as underlying health problems, age and vaccination status. According to doctors, the loss of taste and smell seems to be uncommon in the new variant. Data suggests that a large number of vaccinated people are no longer infectious seven days after beginning to experience symptoms or first testing positive.
Due to Omicron’s high number of mutations, the vaccine efficacy against symptomatic infection remains far lower as compared to the Delta variant. As per a report by Imperial College London, the risk of reinfection with Omicron was 5.4 times greater as compared to Delta variant. Even though vaccines are highly effective, breakthrough infections are seen across all vaccines.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the best protection against Omicron still the remains the same – wearing a properly fitting mask over your mouth and nose and avoiding crowded places. Experts say wearing an N95 mask is still the best option, especially if in a crowd. N95 mask is effective because it creates a seal that blocks 95 percent of harmful particles. Double masking can also provide added protection if you don’t have access to a N95 mask. Due to the fact that COVID-19 is an airborne disease, regularly washing and disinfecting your hands also help reduce the transmission of coronavirus.
While the RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test remains the gold standard for detecting a potential COVID-19 infection, rapid antigen test is also used by many to check on possible virus contamination. As per the FDA, if a person tests negative with an antigen test, but is suspected to have COVID-19, it is important to follow-up with a PCR test to find out the infection.
If you are looking to go for an Omicron test in Delhi, there are plenty of RT-PCR test centres in Delhi that offer such tests that are done in large certified COVID testing labs. Amid the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, the Delhi government has standardised the RT-PCR test cost (or Omicron test price) in Delhi. However, RT-PCR test cost rate differs in various states.
Medical Tests and Health Checkups Available At House of Diagnostics (HOD).