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  4. Omicron cleared from body in about a week but infected individuals can spread infection within hours

Omicron cleared from body in about a week but infected individuals can spread infection within hours

So far Omicron has spread to more than 120 countries, outpacing the previous Delta variant to become the dominant one. While it has surged infections in many countries, the infections are generally touted as mild, leading to less hospitalisation as well as deaths compared to Delta.

Health Desk Edited by: Health Desk New Delhi Updated on: February 01, 2022 14:41 IST
Representative image
Image Source : FREEPIK

Representative image

Highlights

  • So far Omicron has spread to more than 120 countries
  • Omicron infections are generally touted as mild
  • Recovery time for Omicron is much less than the previous strains

The highly transmissible Omicron variant, which emerged with a host of unusual mutations in late November last year, has been detected in more than 120 countries. According to an expert, a person who is infected with Omicron can spread the infection within hours as compared to other strains of COVID 19. As per a study led by researchers at the University of Hong Kong, Omicron spreads 70 times faster than Delta variant, reports IANS. 

With previous strains, the infections were spread in three to four days, TASS news agency quoted Alexander Semyonov, head of the Yekaterinburg branch of the Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, as saying.

"The saddest thing is due to its rapid replication, you can communicate the virus not in three to four days but already by the evening," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-1 television channel.

However, the recovery time for Omicron is much less than the previous strains. He said Omicron is cleared from the body in about a week, or much faster than other strains.

On November 26, the World Health Organisation (WHO) designated the B.1.1.529 variant identified in South Africa as a "Variant of Concern" and assigned it the Greek letter Omicron. In its statement, the WHO noted that "this variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning".

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong study also showed that Omicron's replication rate in human lung tissue was more than 10 times lower than what was seen with the original strain -- an observation that "may suggest lower severity of the disease".

So far it has spread to more than 120 countries, outpacing the previous Delta variant to become the dominant one. While it has surged infections in many countries, the infections are generally touted as mild, leading to less hospitalisation as well as deaths compared to Delta.

--with IANS inputs