What is COVID-19?

It is an infectious viral disease which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19), which like any other virus tricks our immune system until it fails to work and eliminates it from the body. It causes respiratory illness in the human body and can lead to multi-organ failure as the disease progresses. The virus for this disease originated in Wuhan, China, from where it spread to other parts of the world. Till date, the virus is mutating itself creating havoc in the world. The virus is small in size and therefore can escape into the air easily. It is inhaled by a healthy person and can cause the same disease. The severity, however, can vary from person to person depending on their respective immunities.  It can also occur asymptomatically in some people and can silently remain unnoticed but can be transmitted to others. The virus attacks the respiratory system of an individual and can prove fatal as well.

Variants of COVID-19

  1. Certain mutations have occurred down the timeline some of which have been harmless, others however have been even more alarming than the previous ones. 
  2. Variants of COVID-19 were named using Greek alphabets by WHO, using some as variants of interest to study more about the virus and thus to engineer a vaccine that suits all the different kinds of mutations providing desired immunity while others are still variants of concern that have kept spreading from one part of the world to the other causing severe devastation. Ever since this pandemic came into being, everything around the globe went haywire. 
  3. The progression of the virus along the timeline was in the sequence, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and the most recent being Omicron. 
  4. Omicron is the most recent viral mutant of COVID-19, reported in November 2021. Ever since the genetic alterations brought this variant into the lives of people, it has produced several sub-variants each of which shares a lot of similarities, including the rate of transmission. 
  5. According to WHO, the Omicron variant is an easily transmissible variant out of all the others. The latest sub-variant that has startled us all yet another time is the XBB 1.5 variant. It is now the globally dominant Omicron variant and has undoubtedly outperformed all other variants. 
  6. Detailed research is yet to be done on the same, but from what the scientists have gathered is an outstanding ability to beat immune defences. The symptoms are similar to those of a cold. 

Should we all be worried about the new variants? 

  1. The new variants were thought to take the world back to stagnancy again, but till now there is no indication of such severity by the virus. 
  2. The vulnerability of the current condition still lies in the transmission rate of the virus. 
  3. The immunity must be well taken care of to be saved from infections, especially after being jabbed. 
COVID-19 Variants

Dr. Sheetu Singh, a nationally renowned pulmonologist, Director ILD & Pulmonary Rehab Clinic, is an expert in chest-related conditions. She got her training from SMS Medical College, Jaipur followed by a visit to Cleveland Clinic, USA.

Contact Info

Address: Mahavir Jaipuriya Rajasthan Hospital Milap Nagar, JLN Marg, Jaipur

Mobile: (+91)-8696666380

Email-Id: sheetusingh@yahoo.co.in

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