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Omicron Transmissibility: WHO scientist explains why this variant spreads faster

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Omicron transmissibility: The rapid spread of the Omicron variant is a major cause of concern for scientists around the globe.

The variant since its first detection in South Africa has been rapidly spreading to all corners of the world.

It has already led to an unprecedented rise in the Covid infection graph across world countries.

Despite double vaccinations, the Omicron variant is wreaking havoc even in the most developed nations.

As per the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 10 million fresh Covid infections were reported across the globe in the past week. What is noteworthy here is the fact that all these cases are Omicron driven due to the higher transmissibility.

According to WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead and Epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove there are three major causes responsible for Omicron becoming the dominant variant throughout the world.

Causes for higher transmissibility of Omicron

Evading Human Cells Easily helps Omicron’s transmissibility

Firstly, the mutations found in Omicron allow it to adhere to human cells more easily.

Immune Escape behind higher transmissibility

Secondly, the immune escape system is also behind the higher transmissibility of the Omicron variant. This means that people can be reinfected despite having a previous infection or being fully vaccinated.

Omicron’s replication

Thirdly, this strain easily replicates in the upper respiratory tract. This is why it is different from Delta and other variants which replicate in the lower respiratory tract of the lungs.

Studies show that the risk of contracting severe illness from Omicron is less as compared to the Delta variant.

But there is no need to be complacent, people do not need to lower the guards when it comes to Covid-appropriate behaviour.

What is more important right now is that we minimise our outdoor exposure and large gatherings.

This will help in minimising the caseload naturally. The rising graph is likely to overwhelm the healthcare systems of even the most developed nations.

Therefore, the world governments and scientists have been urging the people to adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour and get vaccinated.


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Hina Fatima Khan
Hina Fatima Khan
Multi-media Journalist based in India with an experience of 7 years in the industry, Hina Fatima Khan works as a Senior Sub-Editor at The Vocal News. Her areas of interest are Politics, Business, History and World Affairs. She is also a Space enthusiast and enjoys scrabble in the Newspapers. She has done Masters in Convergent Journalism from Mass communication Research Centre (MCRC), Jamia Millia Islamia University.

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