A doctor at AIIMS explains why breathing difficulties may not be linked to the COVID-19 Omicron variant

The viral disease has manifested some obvious symptoms since the origin of coronavirus about two years ago. Even the virus variants that emerged from time to time produced similar symptoms, one of which was shortness of breath. However, an AIIMS doctor believes that the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, which has caused a sharp increase in positive cases across the globe in a matter of weeks, may not cause breathing difficulties.

Why Omicron may not lead to breathing problems?

The virus multiplies in the lungs in the majority of COVID-19 cases, causing breathing problems. However, in the case of omicron, the virus may be multiplying in the throat. Dr Punnet Musra, professor of community medicine at AIIMS, stated that it is not uncommon for a variant of a virus to exhibit symptoms that differ from the original strain. The Omicron variant is the same. This new coronavirus strain does not cause breathing problems like other variants, most likely because it does not multiply in the lungs. As a result, the impact of omicron infection on the lungs is minimal. Furthermore, in most of the places where the omicron variant is spreading, it has been reported that the throat is being affected, indicating that the variant is multiplying there.

What does this mean?

The Omicron variant is new, and researchers are still closely monitoring it to learn how the virus multiplies, what symptoms it causes, and how effective current vaccines are. However, the initial study found that omicron causes milder symptoms than the Delta variant, prompting a second wave earlier this year. Because the omicron multiplies in the throat, it does not cause severe pneumonia, according to Dr. Musra. The symptoms of the omicron are even milder than those of the Delta, but it is 7 times more transmissible than the Delta. This means that it is more likely to affect more people, but it may not result in severe symptoms, hospitalization, or death. To reach a firm conclusion about omicron, much more research is required.

What are the other symptoms of omicron?

Other symptoms of omicron include weakness and body aches, in addition to a sore throat. These are the first signs of a coronavirus infection. Unlike other variants, this new variant does not cause shortness of breath, high fever, or loss of smell or taste. Vaccine manufacturers are still working to understand the nature of the strain in order to test the efficacy of their respective vaccines.

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