How Does Omicron Spread so Fast?
Omicron and Delta have nearly identical viral loads, which is not the explanation for Omicron’s rapid spread over the world and replacement of Delta as the main SARs-CoV-2 strain. According to Nature, two unpublished investigations have found that the Omicron does not release any more viral load than the Delta. Its rapid spread is due to its ability to evade immunity, which can be natural or induced by previous vaccination.
The findings imply that Omicron’s hyper-transmissibility is not due to sick people releasing significant amounts of virus. Instead, Emily Bruce, a virologist at the University of Vermont in Burlington, believes the best reason for its rapid dissemination is its capacity to avoid SARS-CoV-2 protection induced by vaccination or previous infection.
What is the definition of viral load? It refers to the amount of virus present in an infected person. The viral load is shown by the RT-PCR test. The viral load is indicated by the CT value on the RT-PCR test report; the lower the number, the higher the viral load.
The researchers looked at the PCR test results of nose and throat swabs collected from infected people to compare viral loads and discovered that those with Delta had a little greater viral load than those with Omicron. Yonatan Grad, an infectious-disease specialist at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, said, “I was really not expecting to see that.”
“You’d anticipate that increased transmissibility would result in a bigger viral load,” said Benjamin Meyer, a virologist at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
Since its discovery in South Africa on November 24, 2021, the current strain of the virus has spread at an unprecedented rate, and within two months, Omicron has surpassed all other strains in the world, triggering a new pandemic. Many scientists believe that Omicron is a completely different pandemic, with individuals displaying a wide range of symptoms. Omicron, unlike Delta, does not impact the lungs, resulting in a decreased hospitalization rate.
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