New variants of the COVID-19 virus are expected to emerge, according to leading experts. The latest mutation B.1.1.529-or Omicron-was listed as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) last year. But how much do we know about this variant?
Since the start of the pandemic, Chad Price and MAKO Medical Laboratories have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. The entrepreneur expanded the testing business due to the sudden surge in demand for accurate research and results. Toward the end of 2021, the team of researchers found cases of the Omicron variant in some of the samples that they were testing, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed. Within this article, CEO Chad Price explains what we need to know now.
1. The virus symptoms may be less severe
One of the first-and perhaps most important things to note-about the Omicron variant is the effects it has. Unlike previous COVID-19 variants, the symptoms of this mutation tend to be relatively unintrusive. According to NBC News, the most common symptoms that you can expect include headaches, a cough, fatigue (tiredness), congestion and a runny nose, and sore throats. Many of these side effects are present when you are overcoming a common cold, and so those infected with the variant may not suffer too much.
However, it's vital to note that this does not mean the variant is not dangerous. Your physical health, age, underlying conditions, diet, and more could all affect the symptoms that you experience. Despite the fact that this variant appears to be less severe, it's still crucial that we all take precautions to curb the spread. Ensuring that we protect both ourselves and the greater community is one of the smartest steps we can now take.
2. Most COVID-19 treatments are effective
Of course, should you catch the Omicron variant, you may be wondering what treatment options are available. In many cases, you will simply have to isolate and wait until this mutation of the virus kills itself naturally. However, scientists are currently trying to work out how effective the existing COVID-19 treatments are in combating the variant. For that reason, you may want to stay up to date with the latest news surrounding this emerging variant. With each new mutation that appears, we will need to do a plethora of research.
We currently know that some monoclonal antibody treatments are effective against the Omicron variant. However, scientists and researchers have stated that this is not the case for all of the available treatments. That means that researchers will have to work hard to understand the impact that the latest variant will have on the wider medical industry.
3. Omicron could spread more easily
If there's one thing that you've heard about the Omicron variant, chances are it's that it is more transmissible than previous mutations. In layperson's terms, that means that it can spread faster and more easily than other variants. That is the reason that more people appear to be getting this new variant than we have seen before now. Needless to say, we should all be looking into the ways that we can protect ourselves from this mutation.
While many people have already returned to on-site working, there are still ways to lower the chances of transmitting this variant. For example, you may want to continue wearing a mask in public places, ensure that you use antibacterial gel whenever possible, and continue to social distance when you are in large groups. These small changes to your everyday lifestyle could make a huge difference when it comes to your risk level.
4. Vaccines are effective in protection
Vaccinations have long been our first line of defense against COVID-19. When the new variant emerged, the question on everybody's mind was whether vaccinations would remain an effective source of protection. While scientists are still conducting research into the efficiency of vaccines against the Omicron variant, the initial results appear positive. Researchers have stated that vaccinations can lower the cases of hospitalizations, severe illness caused by the variant, and premature deaths.
Choosing to get your vaccinations and boosters when they are available to you is the simplest way to protect yourself. Studies have shown that individuals with up to date vaccinations are less likely to contract COVID-19 and experience severe symptoms caused by the illness, should they get it. While life may be returning to normal in many areas, we still have a duty to keep both ourselves and the people around us safe.
MAKO Medical Laboratories and Chad Price Detect New Variants
With CEO Chad Price at the helm, MAKO Medical Laboratories is a leading testing and reference laboratory specializing in methodology development and pathological services. The entrepreneur set up the healthcare brand back in 2014 alongside his two co-founders with the aim of offering patients more accuracy and transparency in the realms of medical tests. Supported by a team of nationally-recognized doctors and PhDs, the health business is now famed for its speed and convenience.
At the start of 2020, when the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was first identified, there was a surge in demand for testing and research. Chad Price and his team of expert researchers quickly rose to the challenge, transforming the entire business. The savvy businessman hired more staff, taking the team from around 300 staff members to more than 1,000. Additionally, he expanded one of the two laboratory sites to increase the team's diagnostic capacity. At the start of the year, it surpassed 10 million tests.
Throughout the pandemic, MAKO Medical Laboratories staff have been working to identify new mutations of the novel coronavirus. The laboratory experts have identified a variety of mutations including the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and B.1.429 variants during that time. These have been gathered from test samples across more than 43 states. Moreover, Chad Price and the company have teamed up with scientific organizations and governmental bodies.
Toward the end of 2021, MAKO Medical Laboratories identified the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) in samples from Colorado, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Soon after this latest discovery, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the presence of this mutation within the samples that the team of researchers collected.
Chad Price has had a long and successful career as a businessman. He previously co-founded BrideGenie and founded Element Services Group Mechanical LLC. The professional has played a leading role in starting Cary Reconstruction, and is a board member for Trill A.I. To share his expertise with professionals, he currently offers tailored consulting services to companies embarking on new mergers or primed for growth.