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Omicron COVID-19 variant - Everything we know so far

02.12.2021 02:19 PM
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Omicron COVID-19 variant - Everything we know so far
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Omicron COVID-19 variant - Everything we know so far
Concern has increased again around the world after the detection of the Omicron mutant from the Corona virus in South Africa, while several countries are preparing for a new round of strict prevention measures, especially since information is scarce so far about the nature of the new mutant.

What did the WHO say?

The World Health Organization has revealed that there is preliminary evidence that the mutant, which was first discovered on November 9, may expose those who were previously infected with the disease to infection again, according to the Wall Street Journal.

She also said the mutant may be more transmissible than other strains of coronavirus, citing the rapid spread of Omicron in South Africa over the past two weeks.

The organization has also asked health authorities around the world to check more positive test samples to see if the mutant is already spreading elsewhere.

Why do scientists care?

In contrast, scientists are very interested in the new mutation because it contains an unusually large number of mutations estimated at about 50, including more than 30 mutations associated with the spike protein, the structure that the virus uses to bind human cells and the main target of many current vaccines.

And the newspaper report stated that viruses change all the time, noting that this does not make a difference in how they work.

He explained that some cases can make the virus spread faster or improve its ability to evade the body's immune system or vaccines.

In parallel, Omicron includes some previously undiscovered mutations as well as some previously discovered mutations.

Some known mutations made other variants more transmissible or better able to avoid parts of the immune response resulting from vaccination or previous infection with the virus.

Scientists are also concerned about the rapid increase in cases in South Africa since the strain was first discovered.
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