What is the Omicron Variant of Covid-19?

The Covid-19 virus continues to mutate into several variants, including the Omicron variant. This particular variant of the virus spreads more quickly, can re-infect patients who have previously been infected with Covid-19, and has symptoms similar to other variants of COVID-19.

omicron variant
Illustration. The Omicron variant spreads faster.

ACTNews, SOUTH JAKARTA – Currently, the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was designated a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) due to the rapid spread compared to other Covid-19 variants.

According to Humanity Medical Services - Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT)’s doctor Dr. Della Rachmawati, M.D., the Omicron variant is the result of a mutation of the Covid-19 virus which was first discovered in South Africa. The distinct characteristic of the Omicron variant is its faster infection compared to the Delta variant.

"That's why the number of daily active cases increases rapidly because the spread is very fast. In Indonesia, the number of active cases has reached thousands," said Della, Monday (1/24/2022).

In addition, this variant of Coronavirus is able to reinfect those who have been previously infected with COVID-19 of different variants.

"Patients who have been previously infected with Covid-19 have a higher risk of being reinfected with the Omicron variant," she explained.

Della adds that WHO is currently conducting research into this variant. There has not been any evidence that supports the claim that this variant has milder symptoms. All Covid-19 variants have more or less similar symptoms such as cough, runny nose, fever, and shortness of breath depending on the conditions of each patient.

"Some people say the typical symptoms of the Omicron variant are sore throat and weakness. Actually, there is no research that proves this,” she said.

Why People Who Are Vaccinated Can Still Get Infected?

To answer this question, Dr. Della explained that vaccines are useful for forming antibodies that fight against the virus that infects one’s body. So far, all types or brands of vaccines that have been recognized by WHO and given to the public have proven effective against all types of variants of Covid-19.

“Can you still get infected with Covid-19? Yes, you can. One point that must be understood clearly is that the purpose of vaccination is to prevent severe symptoms when you get infected especially for those with comorbidities, not to prevent the infection in itself,” she concluded. []