Virologists around the world agree that the new variant of the corona virus, named Omigron and discovered in South Africa, poses another serious threat to the global corona virus epidemic for nearly two years, CNN wrote on Saturday.
Lawrence Young, a virologist and professor of molecular oncology at the Warwick School of Medicine in the UK, endorsed the World Health Organization (WHO)’s view of Omigron as “extremely worrying”.
“This is the most mutated version of the virus we have ever seen. This variation involves some changes we have seen before in other genres, but not all of these compounds have been present in the same virus. It also has new mutations, “Young wrote in a statement.
He explained There are a total of about 50 mutations in Omigran, most importantly, according to research by geneticists in South Africa, more than 30 of these mutations were found in spike protein. – A system that uses the virus to enter infected cells.
Said Neil Ferguson, director of the MRC Center for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London. The number of mutations in spike protein is “unprecedented”.
The spike protein gene is the target of most vaccines. Therefore, there is concern that this variant may have more potency than previous variants to avoid the immunization intended to provide vaccines. Ferguson said.
Sharon Peacock, professor of public health and microbiology at the University of Cambridge, though general Covid-19 cases are relatively low in South Africa, with a rapid increase over the past seven days – With 273 new infections registered on November 16, more than 1,200 cases increased on November 25, more than 80 percent of them. Discovered in Gauteng Province.
“The epidemiological picture suggests that this variant may be highly contagious, which may be due to some mutations,” Peacock wrote in a comment from the UK’s Science Media Center.
Tulio de Oliveira, director of the Center for Epidemiological Response in South Africa, acknowledged that the new variant “has more mutations than expected”. “The virus is spreading so fast that we can expect health systems to be overburdened in the next few days and weeks,” he said.
Dean of the U.S. Department of Public Health at Brown University. Ashish Jaa said the new variant “behaves differently” and “looks more contagious than the delta variant”. “It quickly dominated South Africa when it was discovered. It happened in a few days, not months,” Ja warned.
De Oliveira stressed that the Govit-19 vaccine is still the best tool in the fight against the corona virus, and that laboratory research is still needed to improve the formulas.
I do not think we will be in a situation where vaccines will be ineffective Ja said. I think this is not very possible. The only question is, does the new variant pose little or no threat to vaccine efficacy? I think the initial information will be revealed in a few more days – Added.
The combination of mutations found in the new Omigron variant represents a “significant risk of accelerating the decline of natural and vaccine-induced immunity,” U.S. vaccine maker Moderna said Friday.
The company said it has already begun testing the vaccine’s ability to neutralize the new variant, and its results are expected in the coming weeks.
In turn, AstraZeneca announced that it would be testing a combination therapy of antibodies in the fight against the new variant, and a spokesman for the company promised that existing vaccine capabilities would already allow new strains to act more quickly.
“AstraZeneca is conducting research in areas where a variant has been identified, such as Botswana and Eswatini.
Johnson & Johnson also announced that it was testing its vaccine against a new variant.
According to scientists, CNN points out that it is not entirely clear where the new variant came from. Although it was first identified in South Africa, it may have come from elsewhere.
Fewer than 100 cases of Omigron variant have been reported worldwide, mainly in South Africa and Botswana, the WHO said Friday. AFP writes This variant was also found in Malawi, Israel by people from Malawi, Hong Kong and Belgium..
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