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What do we know about the new Omicron variant?


Omicron is the new variant of the Covid-19 virus considered as “variant of concern”. Due to its high number of mutations, it raises concerns about whether it is more contagious, lethal, or can circumvent the effect of vaccines and treatments.

The symptoms are the trigger to know which variant it is, Omicron causes the following:

  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Sickness.
  • Cough, in some cases.

Something that causes concern in the population is that people infected with the omicron variant were vaccinated.

However, the Ministry of Health (Minsa) warns that the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19, and from this new variant, is to have your vaccination doses complete, wear a double mask or a KN95, avoid poorly ventilated places, practice physical distancing and maintaining your social bubble or inner circle, usually family.

Is it more contagious?

Since it was detected a few weeks ago, the variant has been spreading very intensely in many countries. It seems that its growth is skyrocketing, it is exponential, and that in a few weeks it will displace the Delta variant, until now dominant. However, although it is still too early to tell, some data suggest that this high incidence is not leading to higher mortality.

Why Micron?

The WHO decided to name the different variants following the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Theta, Lota, Kappa, Lambda, Mu.

The next on the list had to be Nu, but since it sounded like New, they decided to move on to the next one, Xi. But it turns out that the Chinese president is called Xi JinPing and they wanted to avoid inconvenience. The next letter of the alphabet was Omicron. That is why the new variant B.1.1.529 is called Omicron. And with Omicron came chaos.

For this reason, if you have been in South Africa in the last three weeks, contact the 113 Health Line to receive more information and guidance. You can do it 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

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