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The Omicron variant is significantly less severe than other strains of Covid-19, according to a report from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to the agency, the risk of hospitalisation from Omicron was half compared to the risk from the Delta variant, Daily Mail reported.
Among people hospitalised, they were 75 per cent less likely to require intensive care, and even the rate of mortality was 91 per cent lower than that of Delta.
While it has long been known by health officials and experts alike that the Omicron variant is not as deadly as its predecessor, it has led to some deaths in the UK, Australia, the US, and India.
Currently, the US is averaging 750,515 new cases every day, the second highest daily total recorded yet in the pandemic -- only trailing Tuesday's total - with 1,716 deaths being attributed to the virus each day.
While the variant has caused cases to triple to record numbers in recent weeks, deaths have not moved at a similar rate.
And the recent 10 per cent uptick in Covid deaths in the US is actually being caused by the Delta variant, not the highly prevalent Omicron strain, CDC chief Rochelle Walensky was quoted as saying at a news conference on Wednesday.
The CDC data also estimates that 98 per cent of active Covid cases in the US are of the Omicron variant.
The Delta variant, which dominated the latter half of 2021, is now relegated to only around two percent of cases, the report said.
If the variant spreads rapidly, and is unlikely to cause death, it could quickly burn through the population and begin to recede.
Experts and health officials are hopeful that the recent surge caused by the variant is showing signs of burning out, as it could run out of people to infect in the coming weeks, the report said.
Keywords: Omicron, Severe, Infection, Health, Fitness, Variant, Symptoms, Washington, US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Covid-19.)
Masks, social distancing, proper hygiene and ventilation can help reduce the transmission of Covid-19 in public places, but even with these measures, scientists have detected airborne SARS-CoV-2 in indoor settings. Now, researchers from Yale University have developed a passive air sampler clip that can help assess personal exposure to SARS-CoV-2, which could be especially helpful for workers in high-risk settings, such as restaurants or health care facilities.
The researchers developed a wearable passive air sampler, known as the Fresh Air Clip, that continually adsorbs virus-laden aerosols on a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) surface. Described in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology Letters, the clip is a small, lightweight, inexpensive and wearable device that doesn't require a power source.
Covid-19 is primarily transmitted through the inhalation of virus-laden aerosols and respiratory droplets that infected individuals expel by coughing, sneezing, speaking or breathing.
The researchers developed a wearable passive air sampler, known as the Fresh Air ClipPhoto by Yale University
Previously active air sampling devices helped detect airborne SARS-CoV-2 in indoor settings; however, these monitors are typically large, expensive, non-portable and require electricity. The team tested the air sampler in a rotating drum in which they generated aerosols containing a surrogate virus, a bacteriophage with similar properties to SARS-CoV-2.
They detected the virus on the PDMS sampler using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), showing that the device could be used to reliably estimate airborne virus concentrations. Then, the researchers distributed Fresh Air Clips to 62 volunteers, who wore the monitors for five days.
PCR analysis of the clips detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA in five of the clips: Four were worn by restaurant servers and one by a homeless shelter staff person. The highest viral loads (more than 100 RNA copies per clip) were detected in two badges from restaurant servers.
Although the Fresh Air Clip has not yet been commercialised, these results indicate that it could serve as a semiquantitative screening tool for assessing personal exposure to SARS-CoV-2, as well as help identify high-risk areas for indoor exposure, the researchers said.
(Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, Infection, Coronavirus, Delta, Omicron, Masks, Social Distancing, Ventilation, Health, Medicine)
The drive for administering precaution dose to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and 60-plus individuals commenced on Monday across the country. The CoWIN portal has sent over one crore reminder messages to the beneficiaries to get the precaution dose.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on this occasion said in a tweet, "The program of giving Precaution Dose on the advice of doctors to healthcare and frontline workers and people of 60+ age is starting from today across the country". He added in the same tweet, "Under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi ji, the government is committed to provide additional security cover to healthcare and frontline workers on priority".
Earlier, Vikas Sheel, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, National Health Mission, said that the reminder SMSs have been pushed to more than 1 crore beneficiaries for the precaution dose. The system is ready to welcome beneficiaries at vaccination centres on Monday. The precaution dose will be administered to those who have completed nine months after the second dose. The health ministry had earlier said that the CoWin system will send reminder SMS to those eligible for the precaution dose.
The online booking of appointments for precaution dose through CoWIN portal started from Saturday. However, the ministry has clarified that there would be no need for new registration for precaution dose. The government has also clarified that the precaution dose will be of the same jab as the first and second dose. Those who got Covaxin will get Covaxin and those who got Covishield will get Covishield. (IANS/JB)
(Keywords: Coronavirus, Delta, Omicron, Variant, Infection, Vaccine, Covishield, Covaxin, Dose, Precaution)
Over nine lakh beneficiaries received their third dose of the Covid vaccine on the first day of the drive to administer the 'Precaution Dose' to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and sixty plus individuals commenced on Monday across the country.
"On the first day of 'Precaution Dose' for the identified categories of beneficiaries for Covid vaccination today, more than 9 lakh doses were administered to the eligible age group," the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in a tweet, "The programme for administering the 'Precaution Dose' on the advice of doctors to healthcare and frontline workers and people of 60+ age is starting from today across the country".
"Under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi ji, the government is committed to provide additional security cover to healthcare and frontline workers on priority," he added in the same tweet.
The CoWIN portal on the first day sent over one crore reminders messages to the beneficiaries to get the 'Precaution Dose'. The online booking of appointments for dose through CoWIN portal was started from Saturday. The ministry had clarified that there would be no need for new registration for the 'Precaution Dose'.
Overall, with the administration of over 82 lakhs vaccine doses on Monday, India's Covid-19 vaccination coverage has crossed 152.78 crores. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: India, Vaccination, Precaution Dose, Coronavirus, Delta, Omicron, Infection, Health)