As the year begins, our community encounters the looming threat of yet another new strain of the COVID-19 Virus; this time known as the Omicron BF.7 Variant. More than 200,000 people in China have been infected. So far, several cases have been reported in India, and numbers are expected to only rise from here.

The transmission rate of BF.7 is dangerously high. Subsequently, the incubation period, which is the time between exposure to the virus and the appearance of its first symptom, is very brief. This means that the virus can infect a large population in a short period of time. The topmost reported symptoms include cough (with or without phlegm), sore throat, fatigue, blocked and/or runny nose, sneezing, headaches, coarse voice, muscle aches and pains, and an altered sense of smell or the absence of one. In rare conditions, diarrhoea and vomiting may also be present.

Those who are immune compromised, unvaccinated, and the elderly, are among the most vulnerable to the new variant. The recommended precautions to take are to wear a mask, socially distance oneself with at least a six foot gap, use sanitizer, take timely booster shots, and to avoid crowded places and unnecessary travel. This is what we can do as a society to minimise spread of disease and control infection rates. By getting vaccinated and taking booster shots, we can develop a herd immunity against the virus.

Article Credits:
Dr. Vinay Mohan, General Consultant, CareMithra
Rohan Panicker, Creative Writer, CareMithra