The What, Why, and How of Omicron?

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Nikita Tyagi, last updated on 12 July 2022| min read
The What, Why, and How of Omicron?

Quick Summary

Omicron is the “variant of concern” as it has several mutations that may affect how it behaves in terms of transmissibility, severity, and reinfection.

Here are some ways to protect yourself against Omicron Covid-19:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a mask
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

Once again, when the world thought it had almost kicked Covid-19 to the curb, another face of this deadly devil of a virus reveals itself - Omicron.

According to WHO, Omicron is the “variant of concern” as it has several mutations that may affect how it behaves in terms of transmissibility, severity, and reinfection. 

Since the outbreak, people all over the world have been in disarray yet again. And irrespective of how much it hurts to say - with the disappointment comes the need to protect yourself. So here’s everything you must know to safeguard yourself against Omicron Covid-19.



What is Omicron?

Omicron is the latest mutant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that emerged in Botswana on November 11th, 2021. And a few days later, another case was registered by Hong Kong in a traveller from South Africa. After this incident, several sequences from South Africa followed. 

What’s more, because of its recent emergence, scientists are yet to evaluate the full potential and impact of Omicron. And there is a substantial amount of uncertainty regarding how this variant of Covid-19 behaves. However, based on the prelim research and results, here’s what you need to know:-

Omicron is Different from the Delta Variant

The genome sequencing has revealed that Omicron is highly mutated compared to the Delta variant. Omicron has over 30 mutations in the spike protein, whereas Delta has only 18 mutations. Spike protein plays an essential role in penetrating host cells and causing infection, and a higher amount of this indicates a higher probability of infection.

And what does that indicate? It implies that the new Covid-19 variant may be immune to the vaccine-induced antibodies and lead to more infections. However, there is no concrete evidence indicating the new variant’s severity. So with Omicron, it’s more like a wait, watch, and assess kind of situation as of now.

Omicron May Spread Faster than the Delta Variant

The WHO (World Health Organization) declared Delta and Omicron as the “variants of concern”. However, there is no evidence indicating that one is more severe, dangerous, and transmissible than the other.

The Third Wave is En Route

During the second wave, many lost their families and loved ones while others continued to bear the ill effects of the Delta variant, the driver of the second wave. Since the emergence of the new Covid variant, Omicron, there have been concerns about the lower efficacy of the vaccine.

Health experts have witnessed a sudden surge in the number of Covid-19 cases, indicating that Omicron can be the predominant strain of the third wave. However, experts also believe that the implications of this variant would be milder. And not just that, the understanding and hope of people in terms of the Covid-19 endgame is also disrupted.

But the Good News is: Omicron is Milder than Delta

According to Robert Cyril Bollinger Jr, “some preliminary evidence suggests that Omicron is more infectious than the Delta variant.” The professor of infectious diseases also suggested, “There is no evidence that the standard prevention strategies are not effective so far.”

What does that mean? It simply means that vaccination, social distancing, masking, ventilation, and hand-washing are back. These are still effective measures in reducing the risk of infection or transmission of Covid-19.

Symptoms of Covid-19 - The When and What

People infected with Omicron Covid-19 present various symptoms, ranging from mild muscle aches to scratchy throat. The symptom presentation is relatively similar to earlier variants of Covid-19. It means that usually, the symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Some of these symptoms include:-

  • Fever or chills
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite in some cases
  • Muscle or body ache

You must seek immediate medical attention if you present with any of the below signs:-

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Inability to wake up or stay awake
  • Pale, grey, or blue-coloured skin, lips, or nail beds

Ominous Omicron: The Wake-Up Call

The scientists are still studying Omicron. Everyone must follow covid-appropriate behaviour that can help manage the risk and transmission:

  • Always wear an authorised & approved standard mask when you go out
  • Get yourself vaccinated, including precautionary dose as per the government protocol
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently,
  • Avoid large indoor gatherings, especially with people not wearing masks


The time to brace for the impact of this new variant was yesterday. Omicron is a reminder that Covid-19 is still lurking in the shadows, and everyone out there must prioritise their safety and their loved ones. 

Modern medical practices have advanced enough to #simplify things. It is always more comfortable to consult and take treatment from a reliable and trusted Doctor or #righthospital. One’s good health and bodily comfort are paramount hence we must not give attention to what others will think about it rather must consult our doctor at the earliest on priority.

You can simply take advice, support and guidance on How to go about it? Which doctor to consult? etc. by contacting online healthcare professionals of #HexaHealth which has top doctors, and the best hospitals empanelled in their network that provides complete care services and #hasslefree #surgery experience at the right hospital and at the right price. Your one simple phone call with them will ease out all your worries, doubts and concerns about COVID19.

Stay tuned to know more about Omicron, its effects, impact, and severeness.

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Updated on : 12 July 2022

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.


Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More


Nikita Tyagi

Nikita Tyagi

BPharm (Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University, Hyderabad)

2 Years Experience

An enthusiastic writer with an eye for details and medical correctness. An avid reviewer and publisher. She emphasises authentic information and creates value for the readers. Earlier, she was involved in making ...View More

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