Omicron is mild, then why the hype? explains Hyderabad hospital

As Omicron cases continue to rise in the state and the country, many people are claiming that Omicron infection is mild and that there is no need to panic.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  4 Jan 2022 3:17 PM GMT
Omicron is mild, then why the hype? explains Hyderabad hospital

Hyderabad: As Omicron cases continue to rise in the state and the country, many people are claiming that Omicron infection is mild and that there is no need to panic. Dr. K. Hari Prasad, the president of Apollo Group of Hospitals, says that this is a worrying and dangerous perception for multiple reasons. Here is why:

1. Omicron is highly contagious, even more contagious than the previous variants and a single infected patient can potentially infect many more than the previous variants.

2. Infection with Omicron causes relatively milder symptoms and very often people brush it off as a common cold. If one is infected but does not know that it is Omicron, they will move around and infect scores of people in the community.

3. The common belief is that Omicron does not cause serious disease and death. Worldwide, a very small proportion (especially those in the vulnerable category) is requiring hospitalization (even ICU care) and deaths have also been reported. Even if the incidence of serious disease is lower is any individual justified in infecting a vulnerable person and creating a potentially dangerous situation?

4. When symptoms develop and one does not get tested, it is practically impossible to differentiate between Delta and Omicron infection. All of us are aware that Delta variant is more dangerous and we have had a terrible experience during the second wave. Is it right for someone who is symptomatic not to get tested and neglect a possible Delta infection?

5. Why take a vaccine when Omicron is causing breakthrough infections? Globally it has been proven that vaccinated individuals are likely to do much better than the unvaccinated if infected. There is enough evidence that booster doses are extremely useful.

In this scenario what is the right thing to do? The first is to accept that the pandemic is still on and there is a possibility of cases surging. The government is playing its role but individuals have a bigger role and the measures they need to take are simple and cost nothing. While the government continues to do what it is doing, we as individuals can contribute in a big way to manage this pandemic and limit the damage it can cause. It is worth reiterating what has been repeated ever since the pandemic broke.

1. Proper use of masks

2. Avoid gatherings

3. Spend time in open well-ventilated areas rather than closed spaces

4. Maintain social distancing

5. Get tested even if you have minimal symptoms and don't wait

6. Seek medical help early

7. Make sure you have all the right information for home isolation. This is critical as it is projected that a majority of those infected with Omicron can be managed by home isolation.

8. Get your immunization doses (including boosters) when due as per regulations

9. Make sure you, your families, friends, communities, and even strangers follow COVID-appropriate behavior.

Complacency at this time could put the healthcare infrastructure under tremendous stress. Even if 1% of positive cases need hospitalization, our healthcare infrastructure will be informed and we may once again land in the terrible situation like we faced during the second wave.

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