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Omicron is the fifth variant of WHO’s concern and experts encourage patience

On On Tuesday, November 23, South African scientists warned the world about a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Formally called the B.1.1.529 variant, it is called Omicron as part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Greek naming system, And health authorities and researchers around the world are becoming more vigilant because they understand the potential impact of an ongoing pandemic.

In addition to South Africa, new variants have been detected in at least 15 countries in Africa, Europe, and North America. CNN, Countless prompts limit On an overseas trip. This variant may already exist in other countries, including the United States. The Wall Street Journal Report.

WHO Executive Secretary Tedros Adhanom Gebreyes describes the Omicron variant as “dangerous and unstable.” Reuters.. It’s too early to decide whether Omicron will continue to spread internationally or overtake Delta as a major concern. The Wall Street Journal Note.Many SARS-CoV-2 mutants that were initially of concern Disappears over time.. Nevertheless, WHO designated Omicron as the fifth “variant of concern” on November 26th.

Little is known about the new mutants, but experts have been working to gather insights from a long list of mutations, as well as preliminary clinical reports from South Africa. Its early evidence suggests that Omicron may be even more infectious than the Delta mutant that previously overtook Earth, and the Delta mutant was more infectious than the previous form of the virus. Some experts say. Pei-YongShi, a virologist at the University of Texas School of Medicine in Galveston, NPR There are concerns about its rapid spread to several South African states, as it may indicate that the variants outperform the Delta. However, Jeremy Luban, a virologist at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, emphasizes that it is too early to tell. “Everyone is afraid that Omicron is much more susceptible to infection than Delta. At first impression, it looks like it might be,” he says. NPR.. “But that could be completely wrong. No one knows so far. The problem is that the data is very limited.”

Kristian Andersen, an infectious disease researcher at Scripps Research, said: Chemistry The sudden increase in Omicron infections can be primarily caused by superspreading events such as college and sporting events, rather than increased infectivity. Based on the limited number of cases reported so far, he states that it is difficult to say how serious the severe infection from the subspecies is. WHO update..

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The Omicron variant is diverged from the original SARS-CoV-2 virus by about 50 mutations, including over 20 mutations in the spike protein. Nature Report — Much more than any other variant of SARS-CoV-2. Alex Sigal, a virologist at the University of Kazoo Natal, said: The Wall Street Journal Variants may have accumulated numerous changes by surviving several months in a single patient. There, it can slowly transform from a variant known as B.1.1 (now almost disappearing from the world) to Omicron. According to WHO, the earliest sample of the variant was collected on 9 November, but it is unclear when and where the variant occurred, especially given the discovery of Omicron in preserved European samples. .. NPR..Its detection in South Africa is not close to the emergence of subspecies, but may be due to the country’s strong genomic surveillance program, says. STAT..

Peplomer mutations are of particular concern to public health experts. Antibody drug Like Regeneron REGN-COV2, And vaccines whose production is triggered by all COVID-19 vaccines available worldwide the goal That protein.This can mean that Omicron can do Better avoidance According to Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor of the White House, innate and vaccine-induced immunity Hill.. However, according to the latest WHO information, it will take some time (perhaps a few weeks) for experts to determine if or to what extent it is true.

according to Parents, South African doctor Unben Pilary told reporters at a briefing on November 29 that cases of Omicron have been generally mild so far, and vaccinated people “tend to work much better.” “. South African health officials point out that cases are also heavily biased towards unvaccinated patients.Taken together, these may indicate that the vaccine retains at least some efficacy, but the national vaccination rate is low, with approximately 65% ​​of people over the age of 60 having at least one dose. Nearly 25% of adults under the age of 35 are vaccinated Parents— Makes it difficult to draw conclusions about effectiveness.

Indeed, the fact that many countries in southern Africa have only been vaccinated. Small percentage Ludmativa, head of the intensive care unit at Chris Hani Baragwanato Academic Hospital in Soweto, South Africa, said their number of people, apart from vaccine protection, means that these areas need to be prepared for deterioration. To do. “We know there are new variants,” she told media members at a press conference. Associated Press.. “The worst scenario is to hit us like Delta … You need to have a critical care bed.”

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Pharmaceutical companies say they are monitoring the situation to see if changes need to be made to the vaccine. Pfizer and Modana previously stated that it would take about 6 weeks to change the mRNA vaccine. CNN, And the spokespersons of both companies New York Times They are investigating whether such changes are needed, or whether booster shots dodge variants of Omicron.

In addition to the novel peplomer mutations, Omicron variants include those found in previous variants. These include E484K. Research suggests Helps the coronavirus escape the antibody, and N501YIs involved in making both alpha and gamma variants more infectious, CNN Report.. However, to fully understand how these and other variants of variants alter the dynamics of Omicron infection, researchers will need to collect and analyze more data over the next few days and weeks. I have.

Meanwhile, experts emphasize that masking, washing hands, and social distance are still useful.

“We have experienced all of this in the Alpha and Delta variants,” said Julian Tan, a clinical virologist at the University of Leicester. Science focus.. “But the main difference is that there is more scientific evidence about the effectiveness of masks and social distances, and there is growing conviction among scientists that these measures will help reduce the spread of the virus. increase.”



Omicron is the fifth variant of WHO’s concern and experts encourage patience

https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/omicron-is-who-s-fifth-variant-of-concern-experts-urge-patience-69472 Omicron is the fifth variant of WHO’s concern and experts encourage patience

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