Omicron covid: How to detect infection with this new variant of corona virus?

Infection of the new variant of coronavirus Omicron has been confirmed in various countries. This variant, first seen in South Africa, is considered by scientists there to be a matter of potential concern.

This new strain of coronavirus has spread to dozens of countries.

Many of these countries are trying to protect themselves from possible outbreaks by imposing or tightening travel restrictions.

What tests are used to detect omikron?
The nose and throat swabs taken for PCR testing are usually sent to a laboratory for analysis. The PCR method tests whether a person has a coronavirus infection.

According to laboratories, some may even detect certain variants of the coronavirus – such as delta or omikron.

In about 40 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised people to be vigilant
Omicron variants of coronavirus were also found in India
Only a few laboratories have the technology needed to identify variants.

The United States leads the world in PCR testing. This is followed by large-scale PCR testing in the UK, Russia, Germany, Italy and South Korea.

In the case of India, only one per cent of the total sample sent for testing is used to denote variants such as Delta or Omicron.

How do you know that Omicron is spread all over the world?
The swab of a PCR test that is suspected to be omicron and the result is a coronavirus infection is sent to a laboratory for a complete genetic analysis called ‘gene sequencing’.

Tests like this have confirmed that some people are actually infected with this new variant. Such laboratory analyzes of the virus’s genetic makeup are important in detecting new variants and determining how they behave.

Since it takes about two weeks for such a test to be performed, most of the infections caused by Omicron have not been identified.

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Can travel bans prevent covid and omikron?
About 90 percent of the confirmed Omicron infections in South Africa are from the same province.

Initially this variant may have spread to Europe. Portugal, the Netherlands, and the UK each have more than a dozen infections.

However, these numbers do not indicate which country has the highest incidence of Omicron variants. Instead, it indicates which countries recognized it quickly.

Does RDT detect omicron?
Testing the RDT method, which can be done at home, does not determine which variant is infected.

However, this method is considered to be effective in detecting the presence of infection.

What are the symptoms of Omicron infection?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that there is no evidence that the symptoms of an omikron infection are different from those of other variants.

However, coughing and fever and loss of taste and smell may be symptoms associated with this variant.

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Omicron infection has also been confirmed in fully vaccinated people in South Africa. The symptoms are normal.

Many adults are admitted to hospitals in South Africa with complex symptoms. Most of them are unvaccinated or have received only one dose of the vaccine.

This indicates that full vaccination and additional ‘booster’ doses can avoid the problems caused by new or similar variants.

What is the difference between Omicron and other variants?
Mutations in the Omicron variant have not been seen so far and mutations in other variants have been observed. Most of these mutations are in the spike protein that appears on the surface of the virus.

The vaccines currently available target spike proteins and this is the main challenge now.

Specific tests found genetic information in the omicron called ‘S-gene dropout’ which made it easier to detect this variant.

But not all S-gene dropout viruses are omicrons. Gene sequencing must be done to remove the omicron.

What is the role of gene sequencing?
The genetic makeup of the virus is important for finding variants.

By closely observing the genetic material, scientists can determine if a person has an omikron infection or an existing and rapidly spreading delta variant.

This process only provides information about the swabs analyzed. But based on the results obtained, scientists estimate the proportion of new infections that could be a new variant.

Significant increase in coronavirus cases in South Africa
What is gene sequencing to find variants?
Scientists in the UK and South Africa are at the forefront of using this technology.

Therefore, Omicron has been confirmed in many infected people in these countries. But this is not an indication that the new variant originated there.

What do we know about Omicron?

Little is known about how this variant behaves and how risky it is.

There is still confusion about how easily this variant spreads, or whether it makes people more ill than other variants, or whether the effect of the vaccine is less than previously thought.

At first glance, this seems worrisome, and countries are reacting quickly if unpleasant situations do not arise.

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