You’ve probably heard about new coronavirus variants with names like Delta and Omicron.
Of course, it’s natural to feel worried about them and what the ongoing pandemic means.
In this post, we’ll explain what the latest variants are and what you can do to continue keeping safe from infection.
What are the new coronavirus variants in Australia?
The Omicron variant was declared a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation in November. This is because it spreads quickly and could change how the pandemic unfolds.
It was first reported in South Africa and has now spread to other countries, including Australia.
There are actually 13 variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to COVID-19. They have been named after the letters of the Greek alphabet.
Some of the most infectious include Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. The Delta variant was first identified in India in December 2020. It spread quickly there and in other countries, especially in communities with low rates of vaccinations.
The Delta variant was first identified in Australia in May 2021. Since then, thousands of Australians have been infected with this form of the virus.
At the time of writing this post (13 December), under 50 cases of Omicron have been identified in Australia.
Should I be worried about new coronavirus variants in Australia?
Experts believe that Omicron may only lead to mild symptoms of COVID-19. But they are studying it closely because we don’t yet know how it will affect people on an individual basis.
While symptoms may be mild, the variant appears to be particularly infectious. So it makes sense to continue taking precautions, which we’ll look at later in this article.
This will minimise your risk of getting infected with Omicron and other variants of coronavirus.
What can I do to protect myself from coronavirus variants of concern?
There are lots of steps you can take to protect yourself, loved ones and the community from coronavirus variants. And the more proactive you are, the more confident you will feel about continuing with your day-to-day life.
Even if you’ve already had COVID-19, you may still get infected. So it’s important to get vaccinated to protect you from the disease and to stop it from spreading.
Everyone aged 12 years and above can get a COVID-19 vaccine. Find out more about getting your vaccination here.
While we still don’t know a lot about the Omicron variant, COVID-19 vaccination should protect you from getting it severely if you are infected with it.
Cough and sneeze hygiene
When you sneeze or cough, try to catch it in a tissue or the inner bend of your elbow rather than your hand.
If you use a tissue, throw it away immediately.
And always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
Keep your hands clean
Keep your hands clean to help prevent the spread of all infections.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Do this often throughout the day and always after using the toilet, coughing and sneezing or before preparing food.
You can use a hand sanitiser spray between washing your hands to keep them germ-free. Have a hand sanitiser dispenser somewhere you can reach it easily — for example, on your desk at work.
Stay safe in public
Try to avoid going out to crowded places.
If you’re having a social gathering, hold it outside where ventilation is better. This means that the risk of spreading infection is lower.
When you do go out in public, wear a face mask. You can choose from either a disposable or reusable face mask. Both of these will help reduce the chances of you getting or spreading an infection.
Home testing kits mean you can test yourself easily for COVID-19 infection, even if you don’t have symptoms.
Stock up with antigen self-test kits, which will give you results in only 15 minutes. They work by identifying a type of protein – an antigen – in your nasal sample that is part of the virus that causes COVID-19.
They can be used by family members of all ages and will give you the information you need to keep yourself and the community safe.
Buy hand sanitiser and face masks for Australia-wide delivery
When you hear about a new coronavirus variant, it can seem scary. But if you continue taking common-sense precautions, just as you have throughout the pandemic, you will be protecting yourself and others.
Count on FeverMates to supply the health and wellness products you need to stay safe. We deliver our hand sanitiser and face masks quickly throughout Australia and further afield, too.
Why not check out all our products in the FeverMates online store? As well as our items to help protect you from infection, we also have a range of fever products in case you or a family member falls unwell. In fact, we have everything you need to keep safe and healthy during the pandemic and beyond!