Everything You Need to Know About the Omicron Variant

With over 90% of all COVID-19 cases as of late being identified as the Omicron variant in Louisiana, it’s safe to assume almost everyone has heard of it. Even though the term Omicron might be something everyone knows exists, very few understand the intricacies of this variant. If you’re curious to know more about this variant and how it compares to the previous dominant variant, Delta, keep reading below.


Omicron vs. Delta


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Omicron has a significant growth advantage over Delta which has led to rapid spread in communities across the globe. While it seems to be spreading at a much more rapid rate, studies have suggested that Omicron, inherently in some way, causes less severe disease compared to Delta. While it may not be as severe, doctors told NPR in an interview that aired on January 5, 2022, that it is still a nasty variant, especially as you get up in the older age range, and should be taken seriously.


Symptoms of the Omicron variant


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many people who have tested positive for the disease have been experiencing extreme symptoms like fever, cough, headache, muscle aches, and loss of smell. While many of the symptoms are the same throughout each variant, the Omicron variant seems to have less severe symptoms. According to Healthline, people who have been diagnosed with Omicron so far haven’t reported a significant loss of taste and smell which was a very common side effect of other variants. 


Overall, the symptoms of the Omicron variant seem to mirror those of a severe head cold. These include cough, runny nose, headache, congestion, sore throat, fatigue, and fever. Researchers say that while Omicron is the most infectious variant of the coronavirus so far, it doesn’t seem to be as deadly as prior variants such as Delta. They also state that the symptoms tend to stay in the upper respiratory system, rather than settling into the lungs where it can do more damage.


Precautions in public places 


With the Omicron variant spreading rapidly across the globe, businesses, schools, and organizations are reacting quickly and setting precautions in place. Universities like Louisiana State University have reimplemented their mask mandates and have given professors the option to hold classes in a fully remote, hybrid, or face-to-face format for the first few weeks of the semester. Other precautions many universities are taking are to require on-campus students to have a negative test result before returning to their residence hall and requiring testing periodically throughout the semester.


How to protect yourself


Similar to all other variants of COVID-19, organizations like the CDC and Unicef have continued to recommend the same precautions. First and foremost, it’s important to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus and some of the best ways to do this include wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, frequently washing your hands, avoiding poorly ventilated or crowded spaces, and avoiding spending time with people who are sick or do not feel good.


What to do if someone at home has the Omicron variant


Even though diligently cleaning and sanitizing surfaces at home can be helpful in preventing the spread of common cold-like symptoms that are present in the Omicron variant, there are some extreme cases where you may need to bring in outside help. If you or someone you live with has tested positive with COVID-19, you may want to work with a professional cleaning company once everyone is recovered to ensure the space is decontaminated.


Biohazard cleanup companies like Xtreme Cleaners are experts in cleaning contaminated spaces. They will also advise how long the space should remain vacant after cleaning until it’s safe and help you feel confident and comfortable at home. It’s important to have a professional company deeply clean the areas that may be dangerous due to infections and other hazards. If you or someone you know needs professional biohazard cleaning services in Louisiana, call us at (800) 524-9591 today.