Why breathing difficulty is unlikely a symptom of Omicron variant, AIIMS doctor explains

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With a sharp spike in the number of Omicron cases recorded in India in the last few days, the total tally of Omicron cases is nearing 150 even before a month of the variant first getting detected in India. The number also depends on the number of samples being sent for genome sequencing as health experts have pointed out that genome sequencing is not a diagnostic tool, it is a surveillance and pandemic assessment and tracking tool. “We can assure sufficient systematic sampling is being undertaken,” Niti Aayog (health) member Dr VK Paul said.

Symptoms of Covid infection by this variant also hold a key to better understand the variant as its symptoms are quite different from Covid infection triggered by Delta.

Omicron spread: Scientists identify 1 symptom that confirms presence of variant

Explaining the difference, AIIMS’ Dr Punnet Musra, professor of community medicine, said it is natural that different variants will have different predominant symptoms. Omicron does not cause breathing trouble as unlike the previous variants, this variant is probably not multiplying in the lungs. Hence, its impact on the lungs is minimal. As cases from all across the world indicate that throat is somewhat getting affected, it is likely that the variant is multiplying in the throat. One is unlikely to get severe pneumonia by Omicron, the doctor said.

Omicron-driven third wave likely to arrive early next year, peak in Feb: Covid Supermodel panel

5 top developments regarding Omicron across the world

1. London has announced an emergency over the spread of the Omicron variant.

2. European nations are bringing back lockdown measures ahead of the Christmas, New Year festive season. The Netherlands has already decided to go into lockdown.

3. World Health Organization has noted that the variant is doubling at least every 3 days, which means the cases are becoming double in 3 days.

4. India may witness a third wave of the pandemic, driven by Omicron, early next year, Covid-19 supermodel community has predicted. However, the third wave will be less severe than the second wave, it has been projected.

5. As of now, 89 countries have this variant and it has infected people with even three doses of vaccination against Covid.

(With agency inputs)

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