What Has Who Said About The Omicron Variant
The World Health Organization has said that omicron has been detected worldwide, stating that the highly mutated variant could have a “major impact” on the trajectory of the pandemic.
Dr Tedros, head of WHO, told a recent press briefing: “Certain features of omicron including its global spread and large number of mutations suggest it could have a major impact on the course of the pandemic. Exactly what that impact will be is still difficult to know, but we are now starting to see a consistent picture rapid increase in transmission.”
He urged governments to urgently take action to curb Covid transmission in the face of omicron and the still dominant delta strain.
“Even though we still need answers to some crucial questions, we are not defenceless against omicron or delta,” he said. “The steps countries take today and in the coming days and weeks will determine how Omicron unfolds. If countries wait until their hospitals start to fill up, it’s too late. Don’t wait. Act now.
“We’re running out of ways to say this but we will keep saying it. All of us. Every government and every individual must use all the tools we have right now.”
Dr Tedos also warned that travel bans are unlikely to be effective to halt omicron’s spread now the new variant has been widely identified.
She said reducing transmission and increasing vaccinations is key to ending the pandemic.
This article is kept updated with the latest advice.
Symptoms Different Among Vaccinated
There’s a gap appearing between symptoms of COVID-19 among people who have been vaccinated – and those who haven’t.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 among those who have been vaccinated are currently runny nose, headache, sneezing, sore throat and loss of smell. While for those who are unvaccinated, it’s headache, runny nose, sore throat, fever and persistent cough.
Professor Spector says: “There are thousands of cases every day that are actually COVID that people thought were just a cold and they’re spreading it to other people. And that’s one reason why we have such high rates compared to other countries, where there is public awareness of what’s going on.”
He encourages everyone with “cold or flu-like symptoms” to take a lateral flow test followed by a PCR test to confirm it’s not COVID-19.
“It’s a lot easier to work from home for a couple of days if you’re feeling under the weather, without spreading it around, and get yourself a test.
“We need to find the sweet spot between over-obsessing about the virus and too much complacency, which I think there is at the moment.
“If you do have a cold, think, ‘It could be COVID’, and keep your distance until you know whether it is or not.”
Watch Professor Spector explain how to tell if it’s a cold or COVID-19 here:
How Is This Different To Previous Variants
Emerging evidence indicates that omicron spreads more easily, which is resulting in a faster and higher peak than previous variants, even if immunity from severe disease continues.
Hospitals in South Africa are continuing to report “far milder” symptoms from omicron compared to previous variants. Dr Richard Friedland, the chief executive officer of Netcare, the largest private health care provider in South Africa, toldThe Telegraph that early trends during the countrys fourth wave indicated a “far less severe form” of Covid.
During the first three waves, 100 per cent of the 55,000 Covid-19 patients hospitalised in Netcare facilities needed oxygen. So far, during the new wave, only 10 per cent of 337 hospitalised patients need oxygen.
It was stressed, however, that these were only preliminary results and that the situation could change.
During a press briefing at Downing Street on Wednesday Dec 15, Prof Whitty said there should be “really serious caution” over reports that a reduction in hospitalisations was being seen in cases of omicron in South Africa.
He said: “The first caution on this is simply a numerical one – if the rate of hospitalisation were to halve but you’re doubling every two days, in two days you’re back to where you were before you actually had the hospitalisation.
“If the peak of this is twice as great, then halving of the size of the hospitalisation rate, you still end up in the same place. And this peak is going very fast.”
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What Happens If I Have Omicron
All contacts of new variant cases were originally told to self-isolate, but on Dec 8 it was announced that daily testing would be introduced instead for those who come into contact with infected people. All Covid contacts now have to take daily lateral flow tests, not just those who come into contact with omicron.
The UK Health Security Agency is continuing to carry out targeted testing at locations where confirmed omicron cases were likely to have been infectious.
How To Protect Yourself
Viruses that cause colds can spread from infected people to others through the air and close personal contact. You can also get infected through contact with stool or respiratory secretions from an infected person. This can happen when you shake hands with someone who has a cold, or touch a surface, like a doorknob, that has respiratory viruses on it, then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose.
You can help reduce your risk of getting a cold:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wash them for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Viruses that cause colds can live on your hands, and regular handwashing can help protect you from getting sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Viruses that cause colds can enter your body this way and make you sick.
- Stay away from people who are sick. Sick people can spread viruses that cause the common cold through close contact with others.
Practice good cough and sneeze etiquette: always cough and sneeze into a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose.
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Will We Ever Cure The Common Cold We Ask The Expert
Prof Sheena Cruickshank, an immunologist at the University of Manchester, on the possibility of a cold vaccine
Famously, there is no cure for the common cold. But with the success of the Covid vaccine, could it finally be in grabbing or, rather, jabbing distance? I asked Prof Sheena Cruickshank, an immunologist at the University of Manchester, about the possibility of a cold vaccine.
I have just recovered from what everyone is calling the super cold. It was awful. Eyes streaming, head about to explode. I hadnt felt like that since I found out Boris Johnson had won the election. Could a vaccine end this misery?Lets take a step back. The common cold is just a blanket term for different upper respiratory viruses: adenoviruses, coronaviruses, parainfluenza and so on. Rhinoviruses are the most common cause, but there are roughly 160 variations. So a vaccine that works on one might not work on another. And theyre expensive and complicated to make. A company isnt going to fund something that doesnt work against many strains.
Thats amazing!Its the Oxford group doing it, actually. Its at phase-two trials, and its an intranasal vaccine.
So up the nose. Sexy.Our better understanding of how the virus gets into cells means we can target that specific point. Thats what the coronavirus vaccine does it targets the spike domains, which is how Covid gets into our body. Pfizer and Moderna are looking into doing the same for common cold viruses.
No, thank you.
Covid: Common Side Effects From Booster Vaccines Pfizer And Moderna
Covid-19 booster jabs can cause a number of common side effects, here are all the one’s from Pfizer and Moderna
Now, the window between receiving your second Covid-19 dose and a third booster has been halved from six months to three.
This new guideline was put in place to help prevent the spread of the Omicron variant and to allow more people to receive their booster jab.
Millions of adults are now eligible to receive their booster jab after the NHS opened up bookings to all eligible adults aged 18 or over reported Manchester News.
The vast majority of people will be given a booster dose of either the Pfizer jab or the Moderna jab, also now know as Spikevax.
As with all vaccines, both booster jabs may have some side effects ranging from common but mild to rare but more severe.
While both vaccines share some side effects, there are some differences and some side effects are reported to be more common in one than the other.
Here’s a breakdown of the side effects for the two vaccines, and how common they are, according to the government website.
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The Nhs Advises That Most Side Effects Which May Include A Sore Arm A Fever And Chills Fatigue Feeling Sick And A Slight Headache Are Mild And Should Not Last Longer Than A Week
The Prime Minister earlier this week announced a major expansion to the booster rollout in a bid to boost the nations immunity, with all adults in the UK now available for a third jab.
The Government also launched a media blitz calling for people to get their booster dose, insisting that it stands as the best defence against the surge in Omicron infections sweeping the country.
Almost 25.5 million people have received their third jab so far in Britain, following huge queues at walk-in vaccination centres across the country as people scramble to get vaccinated before Christmas.
Heres everything you need to know about the UKs booster programme:
Description Of The Condition
There are no standardised definitions for a common cold . The common cold is a spontaneously remitting infection of the upper respiratory tract, characterised by a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing, and sometimes cough, malaise, sore throat, and fever . A temperature of 100º F or higher for three to four days is typically associated with influenza and other respiratory diseases . While benign in nature, the common cold is the most frequent illness experienced in humans. Children experience six to 11 upper respiratory tract infections per year , and adults experience two to four episodes per year . Because it causes frequent absences from school and work, the common cold has become a significant economic burden the cost in the United States is estimated at more than USD 60 billion each year . Furthermore, bacterial complications can lead to morbidity and mortality .
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A ‘universal Vaccine’ May Soon Protect Against All Coronaviruses Including The Common Cold
It took Barney Graham, Jason McLellan and their collaborators just a weekend in January 2020 to design a novel vaccine they believed would be capable of protecting people against COVID-19. Their design formed the basis for the vaccines that Moderna, Pfizer and others would eventually use to inoculate millions of Americans a little more than a year later, a pace of development unprecedented in the annals of modern medicine.
Graham and McLellan are part of a corps of researchers hoping to take the technology they used on COVID-19 vaccines and apply them to an even more futuristic creation: an arsenal of off-the-shelf premade vaccines that could be easily modified to attack new pathogens as they arisea kind of “pan” or “universal” coronavirus vaccine capable of protecting against many different strains of the virus at the same time.
Even as scientists race to develop booster shots and tweak existing vaccines to work against new variants to SARS2, they’re looking ahead to future pandemics caused by entirely new pathogens from the same coronavirus family, one of just 26 known to infect humans. But SARS-CoV-2 is the third novel, deadly coronavirus to cross over from animals to humans in the last 20 years, and many scientists warn more will inevitably follow. Even though a “universal” vaccine that can protect against any new coronavirus that nature throws at us probably won’t be available this year or next, development has become a high priority.
How To Protect Others
If you have a cold, you should follow these tips to help prevent spreading it to other people:
- Stay at home while you are sick and keep children out of school or daycare while they are sick.
- Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing, or shaking hands.
- Move away from people before coughing or sneezing.
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue then throw it away, or cough and sneeze into your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose.
- Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys, doorknobs, and mobile devices.
There is no vaccine to protect you against the common cold.
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What Can You Do To Ease The Side Effects
In general, Dr. Mandal recommends that patients drink plenty of water before receiving the shot or booster and continue hydrating afterward. You can also apply an ice pack or cool moist towel to the area to ease discomfort, as well as take acetaminophen or ibuprofen after receiving the vaccine to alleviate symptoms, she adds.
The bottom line: Get your booster if you are eligible. Feeling slightly crappy for a day or two is much better than being down for the count due to COVID-19.
Know The Difference Between Common Cold And Flu
The flu, which is caused by influenza viruses, also spreads and causes illness around the same time as the common cold. Because these two illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, flu symptoms are worse than the common cold and can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue . Flu can also have very serious complications. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and best way to prevent the flu. If you get the flu, antiviral drugs may be a treatment option.
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Vaccines For Preventing The Common Cold
We looked at whether vaccines can help to prevent the common cold.
The common cold is caused by viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, and people usually get better when the virus dies. People with common cold feel unwell, have runny noses, nasal congestion, sneezing, and cough with or without sore throat, and slightly elevated temperatures. Treatments are aimed at relieving symptoms.
Globally, the common cold causes widespread illness. It has been difficult to produce vaccines to prevent the common cold due to the many viruses involved. The effect of vaccines on preventing the common cold in healthy people is still unknown.
For this update we searched the literature up to 2 September 2016.
We found no new studies in this update. This review includes one previously identified randomised controlled trial performed in 1965. This study involved 2307 healthy people at a training facility for the United States Navy and evaluated the effect of a live weakened adenovirus vaccine compared to a fake vaccine .
Study funding sources
This study was funded by a government institution.
Quality of the evidence
We assessed the quality of the evidence as low due to high risk of bias and low numbers of people included in the study and numbers of colds, which resulted in imprecision.
To assess the clinical effectiveness and safety of vaccines for preventing the common cold in healthy people.
A Vaccine For The Common Cold May Be Possible
27 September 16
A vaccine against the common cold may be possible, new research in mice and monkeys suggests.
Mice and monkeys both built up immunity to many strains of a virus that causes the common cold, called rhinovirus, after they were given experimental vaccines, researchers found.
In the study, published Sept. 22 in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers created two versions of a rhinovirus vaccine and tested one version in mice and one version in monkeys.
When the animals in the study were given the vaccines, they produced antibodies that were specific to all of the strains of the rhinovirus that were present in the vaccine, according to the study.
Antibodies are one of the immune system’s ways of responding to foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Antibodies are specific to the individual invaders, and the body remembers them. This way, if a person is exposed to a virus that the immune system has already prepped for, it can quickly produce the antibodies it needs, and prevent illness from taking hold.
Vaccines prompt the body to make certain antibodies so that if a person does encounter a specific virus or bacteria they were vaccinated against, the immune system can quickly supply those antibodies again.
Vaccines may contain either a weakened or dead version of a virus or bacterium. But the common cold isn’t caused by one single virus rather, there are countless strains that can make a person sick.
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What Are The Potential Side Effects Of The Covid Booster Shot
Mild to moderate side effects of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID booster shots include the following, according to Dr. Mandaland they’ll probably look like those of the original vaccines.
- Pain at the injection site
- Body aches
There is a varied response to the vaccine and booster shots, says Dr. Mandal. Some people have not experienced any side effects with any of the vaccines, while others have experienced side effects with the second dose and the booster dose.
Rare cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been reported in some people after getting the second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine doses, according to the CDC. This is more common in adolescents and young adults. Regardless, the health agency stresses that the benefits outweigh the known and potential risks.
If redness or tenderness at the injection site worsens after 24 hours or any symptoms last longer than a few days, you should contact your healthcare provider, per the CDC’s recommendations.