HomeCOVID-19Scientists: 'Omicron Variant May Be the Most Mutated Virus Ever'

Scientists: ‘Omicron Variant May Be the Most Mutated Virus Ever’

Researchers from the COVID-19 team wear protective gear as they enter a high-security bio-hazard lab at the Africa Health Research Institute, where live Omicron is being grown and will be tested against full immunization blood, including previously infected patients.

“This is probably the most mutated virus we’d ever seen,” said Alex Sigal, a virologist leading the research team that identified the new strain.

More than 50 mutations have been identified in the Omicron variant, including about 30 mutations in the spike protein that affect the body.

“It’s more of a Frankenstein than others,” said Signal.

“It’s always something new. I mean, the virus keeps surprising us.”

The scientists had alerted the world about the new variant within 36 hours of discovering it.

A few countries, including the United States, have now banned travel from several southern African countries in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

Scientists from Sigal’s team and others are trying to determine whether the variant is more transmissible or avoids immune defenses.

Several researchers have requested samples of Omicron from the lab, which is in the process of shipping across the country.

In about ten days, scientists will know whether or not existing vaccines can prevent Omicron.

Read More: New Research Predicts 100 Million People Have Had Long COVID And That Kind COVID Antibodies Are Almost Worthless Against New Variants!

Regardless, Sigal believes they are still effective at protecting people from severe illness and hospitalization.

In spite of this, Sigal warns that as long as Africa fails to vaccinate, the disease will continue to spread.

The Omnicron variant mostly affects young people in Africa, and doctors there report mild symptoms in most infected individuals.

NATE GARTRELL
NATE GARTRELLhttps://theeastcountygazette.com/
NATE GARTRELL is an author at TheEastCountyGazette.com, a publication in the East County region of San Diego County. He has been writing for the Gazette since 2012 and writes on many different topics including politics, business, health care and more.
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