The omicron version is rapidly becoming the most prevalent coronavirus strain worldwide, and scientists are now attempting to determine how it evolved.
According to BBC News, scientists in South Africa have begun investigating the “very likely notion” that COVID-19 variants such as the omicron variant originated in persons infected with COVID-19 but had weaker immune systems due to other medical concerns, such as untreated HIV.
COVID-19 can be found in some HIV-positive individuals who have not taken their medications, researchers have discovered.
According to the notion, the coronavirus will infect some immunocompromised individuals and remain dormant for an extended period. The virus mutates and evolves throughout time, becoming stronger.
“Normally, if your immune system is functioning properly, it should be able to eliminate a virus quite fast,” Linda-Gayle Bekker, a professor who directs the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, told BBC News.
“When an individual’s immunity is reduced, we observe viral persistence. And it is not a passive agent; it replicates. Additionally, as it replicates, it is susceptible to mutations.
And in someone with low immunity, that virus may be able to replicate for many months, evolving along the way,” she noted. Nonetheless, additional research is required to determine the origin of the omicron variety.
According to Reuters, the variation most likely acquired a piece of genetic code associated with the common cold. The cold or flu symptoms and the omicron version are so similar.
Researchers are attempting to determine the omicron variant’s infectiousness and severity.
At the moment, preliminary research indicates that the omicron form may cause less severe symptoms, particularly if you are completely vaccinated with a coronavirus booster.
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