The speed of its spread is colossal. What is known about it? Very little. Below are the most common statements to date.
1. "Omicron" is 4 times more contagious than "delta".
Preliminary data indicate that it is enough to communicate with a sick person without a mask for 5 minutes and get a dose of coronavirus that can cause illness.
2. The new strain is "softer" than the previous one. ⠀
This is supported by the work of South African scientists (which is where Omicron originated) who report that compared to Delta, Omicron infection is five times less likely to result in hospitalization and three times less likely to develop serious illness.
3. Children began to get sick more often.
According to the US Department of Health, the number of hospitalizations of the child population increased 7 times from December 5 to January 8. The children got sick more. However, this is due to the higher contagiousness of the virus, the lack of distance learning, and close contact of children with each other. Children began to get to the hospital more often, but still the total number of hospitalizations remains small - 2 hospitalizations per 100,000 sick children (US data).
4. "Omicron" often affects children under 5 years of age.
Yes and no. In the United States, it is true that children under five years of age predominate in the number of hospitalizations. However, this is due to the fact that they are not yet allowed to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Those. Vaccinated children and adolescents are less likely to be hospitalized. In Russia, children of all ages are hospitalized in approximately equal proportions.
5. Coronavirus symptoms have changed.
Indeed, a runny nose, sore throat, headache, cough came to the fore. Just like a normal SARS. Loss of smell is less and less common (only 20%), severe weakness, high fever.
About vaccinations and precautions.
According to the results of a study by the Gamaleya Center, vaccination with infection with "omicron" will provide reliable protection against severe cases of the disease and hospitalization. Russian vaccines are about as effective against Omicron as they are against the now dominant Delta strain in the world.
It is recommended to adhere to the previous strategy - revaccination six months after the first two vaccinations. This scheme currently provides complete protection against the Omicron strain.
Experts remind that Omicron is spreading in exactly the same ways as previous versions of the coronavirus. This means that the same precautions must be observed: do not forget about social distance, wear a mask in any place where people gather, and wash your hands often and thoroughly.