Concerns growing over coronavirus Omicorn Variant

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The most extensively altered form uncovered thus far had such a large list of changes that one scientist called it “horrific,” while another said it was the worst variety they’d ever seen.

It’s still early, and confirmed cases are mostly limited to a single South African region, but there are indicators that it may have spread further.

There are immediate concerns about how rapidly the new variation would spread, its capacity to circumvent certain vaccination protection, and what should be done about it.

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There is a lot of conjecture, but few definitive answers.

Following in the footsteps of Greek code-names such as Alpha and Delta, the World Health Organization has given the variant the name Omicron.

It’s also been extremely mutated. Prof. Tulio de Oliveira, head of South Africa’s Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation, said the variation had a “unique constellation of mutations” and was “quite distinct” from other versions that had spread.

“This variety surprised us since it had a large evolutionary leap [and] much more mutations than we expected,” he explained.

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In a press conference, Prof de Oliveira claimed there were 50 changes in all, with more than 30 on the spike protein, which is the focus of most vaccines and the key that the virus uses to gain access to human cells.

It contains ten mutations in the receptor binding domain (the component of the virus that makes first contact with our body’s cells), compared to just two in the Delta variety that swept the planet.

This amount of mutation is most likely the result of a single patient’s inability to overcome the virus.

A high rate of mutation does not always imply that something is harmful. It’s critical to understand what those mutations are doing.

However, this virus has evolved significantly from the original, which was discovered in Wuhan, China. As a result, vaccinations developed utilizing the original strain may be less effective.

Some of the mutations had already been identified in other variations, providing some insight into their potential involvement in this one.

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