Negligence to new omicron variant may invite danger

06 January 2023

Dr Zerin Imam :
The initial omicron virus has continued to evolve and a new variant known as BF7 has recently entered the scene. BF 7 carries a specific mutation 'R346T' in its spike protein. It increases the potency of the virus by neutralizing or inactivating antibodies produced by the vaccine or previous infection. They can easily attack by inactivating the body's antibodies. It is a matter of hope that, study showed, completely vaccinated (three doses) people were immune to this subvariant.
According to sources, the new Omicron variation BF7 spreads swiftly, has a short incubation period, which implies it can infect more people in a shorter period of time. One to eighteen individuals are susceptible to the infection. Additionally, it has the ability to reinfect individuals. The danger of catching this virus is higher in those who are not immunized or have compromised immune systems, such as the elderly, youngsters, pregnant women, and those who have a number of co-morbid conditions like cancer, uncontrolled diabetes, heart, or kidney issues.
Typical signs and symptoms
The symptoms are associated with upper respiratory tract infection which includes; sore throat, cold, Nasal congestion, sneeze, Cough without phlegm, Headache, Cough with phlegm, Hoarse voice, Muscle aches, Change in smell/bad smell.
Since BF7 affects the upper airways. This results in accumulation of phlegm in the upper chest and larynx. On the other hand, people affected by this form may also have stomach problems. Some may also experience stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea. If any of these issues begin in the physical realm, it is best for us to see a doctor and get tested for COVID.
The main issue with this new variation is how contagious it is. Numerous persons may contract this strain of Omicron at once. As a result, the patient needs to be quarantined as soon as the condition is immediately diagnosed and it will decline the level of infection. But the death rate will rise if the species spreads too quickly. A report claims that circumstances with this variation have a very high recovery rate.
Unvaccinated people may be at danger from the new variety. Therefore, individuals who haven't received a vaccination should be vaccinated immediately. The second booster dose should be taken as soon as feasible by frontline employees, pregnant women, and people over 60.
Precautions by the government:
Since the economy and trade should be continued and people should have a balanced social life, government should take the following measures for the safeguard of the citizens:
o Strict surveillance of travelers departing directly from BF.7 impacted nations
o Increase the availability of the Covid-19 booster shot by making it accessible in all clinics and hospitals.
o Increasing the opportunity of genome sequencing to study the status of the prevailing BF7 virus. And do research on the topic and find the suspectable reasons and the feasible paths of transmission.
o The covid appropriate behavior should be under taken in busy areas including markets, workplaces, sports events, places of worship, stations, airports, and public transportation, extreme caution should be exercised and observed critically by the law and enforcement teams.
o Proper medical facilities should be kept available for the people of different age and classes.
o Ensuring proper physical distance should be maintained among the people in the public areas.
 o Government should stay alert to avoid any misunderstanding and unnecessary panic and the price of the daily commodities should also be pulled up without any knee jerking reaction to the epidemic.
Awareness buildup by the civil society members:
Civil society members like teachers, artists, businessmen, local councilors, doctors, engineers and high official personals of the society should help in buildup the awareness among the people of the society. They can influence by demonstrating the practices to acknowledge them the following implications at their own workplaces:
o Three layers masks should be worn at the time of public exposure.
o Inspiring and urging people who have expressed immunization reluctance to receive the vaccine by the.
o Keeping hands clean with sanitizers.
o Cleaning household furniture with disinfectant.
o Avoid dust.
o Abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and smoking.
Caution in food and life style:
The government, society and the families as unit should also be cautious about the everyday practice for the prevention of the omicron BF7.
o It is best to stay away from cold meals, sweet foods like ice cream, and other such foods as they raise the risk of lung infections.
o To avoid external contamination, Food stuffs should be cleaned properly after buying raw from the market and homemade food is preferred for consumption.
o Food that has been properly boiled is safe, although it is always advisable to clean food before eating it raw.
o Before using, crockery and cutlery must be thoroughly cleaned.
o Even a short period of exercise can significantly enhance lung function. With the necessary precautions, one can practice taking a daily stroll outside.
o Sitting and lying positions also matter for a healthy physical status.
Mordana and others are working on the Omicron-specific variant, despite the fact that it is a novel variant with unique characters, and we are all hoping that a more effective vaccination will be made available soon to eradicate the virus. However, until that time, everyone must be vigilant, and serious precautions must be taken to stop the outbreak.

(The writer is a public health expert).

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