What to Know About Variants - ARCpoint Labs of Woburn
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What to Know About Variants

by | Dec 23, 2023 | Drug & Alcohol, Employer Solutions

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the globe and altered life as we know it. As with any other virus, SARS-CoV-2 continues to mutate into new strands. There is a lot of misinformation about how these new strains of COVID-19 will affect life. Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 variants.

Types of Variants

All viruses naturally mutate and evolve. While some of these mutations disappear relatively quickly, others persist and become new variants of the original virus. SARS-CoV-2 is no exception. The original strain of the virus has undergone several mutations, and now the delta variant is the dominant strain, with the new omicron variant becoming increasingly common. There will likely be other variants that emerge future.

Delta – B.1.617.2

Currently, the delta variant of COVID-19 is the dominant strain of the virus in the United States. This variant appears to have less severe symptoms for vaccinated people, but it is much more contagious than previous strains of the virus. It can infect both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. The best way to avoid severe cases of the delta variant remains to get vaccinated against the virus.

Omicron – B.1.1.529

The omicron variant is the newest mutation of the virus that causes COVID-19. We don’t yet know how infectious this particular strain is or how severe in symptoms are. Preliminary data suggests that this strain may be more contagious than previous strains but less severe in terms of symptoms for vaccinated people. However, it is important to understand that the information we have about the omicron variant is limited, and we need more data to understand the full impact this strain of the virus will have on life.

Top Things You Need To Know

Symptoms

the symptoms for new variants of COVID-19 are the same as the ones for previous strains. Although these symptoms can be explained by various respiratory illnesses, it is always a good idea to be tested for COVID-19 to rule out a serious infection. Seek out a testing site if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Headache

Masks

Wearing a mask helps to cut down on the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. Wearing a mask continues to be one of the easiest ways to slow the spread of new COVID strains. It prevents you from spreading the virus to others if you are asymptomatic, and it also helps you avoid catching the virus from other people. However, it is still a good idea to be tested regularly If you are frequently in large crowds with other masked individuals.

Vaccines

We don’t yet know how effective the current vaccines will be against the new omicron variant of COVID-19. However, the vaccines have proven to be effective at reducing severe illness for the delta variant. Research is ongoing to determine if we need a new vaccine to guard against variants of COVID-19, but for now, the best way to protect yourself from the virus is to get vaccinated.

Get Tested for COVID Today With ARCpoint Labs of Woburn

Having access to testing is a vital element in the fight against COVID-19. You should get tested before traveling or after being in large crowds whether or not you had been vaccinated. If you live in Woburn, Massachusetts, you can turn to ARCpoint Labs for accurate testing and quick results. We are located at West Cummings Park near Cedar Street, so contact us today to schedule your appointment for a COVID-19 test.

Image Credit: Cryptographer / Shutterstock

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