With the tally of Omicron variant infections crossing the 200-mark on Saturday in Odisha, and when the onset of symptoms is said to be quicker in infections with this variant of concern, the time is ripe to know about the new symptoms observed among individuals across countries.
While the State is eagerly awaiting the results of 250 samples collected on and around Jan 10 and had been sent for whole genome sequencing (WSG) at ILS, Bhubaneswar, the results of 42 WGS were released today, of which, 32 were found to be infected with the highly transmissible variant.
Though the sequencing rate determined today is high at 76 percent, the overall WGS rate since Dec 1 has been around 24 percent. The State had sent a total of around 827 samples for WGS to ILS-Bhubaneswar since December 1, 2021. The total Omicron genomes detected stood at 201.
A glance at the above data reveals that as of date, as per WGS data, Omicron is yet to emerge as the dominant variant in Odisha, though the national scenario is completely different.
Now, Omicron Dominant Strain In India
The latest whole genome sequencing data nationally reveals that Omicron (and its sub-lineages) is now accounting for 53.2 percent of the genomes sequenced in the country. This shows the super spreader variant of concern has emerged as the dominant strain in the country in January.
Moreover, the data suggest that the Omciron sub-lineage BA.1 is fuelling the abnormal rise in cases in many states in the country.
Omicron Scenario In India
The latest data with Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry shows that the tally of the new variant of concern has crossed the 6000 -mark in the country. The recovery rate in country hovers at around 39 percent vis-a-vis 31 percent in the first 15-days after detection of the first case. In India, as of date, the Omicron toll is 1.
The Omicron case fatality rate in the world is estimated at around 0.20 percent as the toll tally stood at 115 globally.
While Tamil Nadu has a recovery rate of 100 percent, if a caseload of over 200 is considered, Gujarat has a high recovery rate of around 78 percent.
States like Karnataka, Delhi, West Bengal, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh have a very poor recovery rate.
A per the data, the recovery rate as on Jan 13, 2022, in Odisha had dropped to around 5 percent (4.7%) from over 11 percent on Jan 4. The recovered patient tally in the State stood at a mere 8.
Is Odisha Recovery Rate A Concern?
As per a recent medRxiv study, in Omicron infection, the viral load gets cleared away in 5.35 days as against 6.23 days in Delta.
Since Odisha has detected its first Omicron case on Dec 21, 2021, in a span of 24-days from then, the number of only 8 recoveries look very poor when seen in the context of the medRxiv study.
The dateline of Omicron caseload reveals that while the State in 7-days had detected 14 cases of Omicron, the recovery till Jan 13th stood at only 8.
As per the same medRxiv study, while the majority of super spreader variant cases tested positive up to five days, only around 13 percent had tested positive on day 7, post-detection. The above study results, therefore, underline how poor is the recovery rate in cases of Omicron infection in Odisha.
Moreover, the study shows Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) detect an infected individual as positive after 3-days of contracting the variant. The RAT detects the presence of virus in body when it peaks. The peak viral load period has been estimated between 4-5 days post-infection.
In the given backdrop, how can one detect that h/she is infected by the new variant of concern? Here are the symptoms are based on experiences of Omicron positives across nations, including the US.
The New Symptoms
Keep a watch on your back pain. If an individual has the symptom of lower back pain, along with sore throat, congestion and dry cough, then it's very likely to be an Omicron infection. Some Omicron positives in South Africa had complained of chest pain also.
However, hospital data studies in South Africa revealed that many Omicron infected patients had developed pneumonia 10-days after infection. So, early detection and quick treatment will prevent hospitalisation.
Moreover, if one shows the signs of night sweats along with sore throat and headache, then it might be the Omicron infection, reveal the studies.