January 22, 2022

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What does the Omigron variant mean for the future of the infection?

(CNN) – Origin of corona virus variant Omigron What was recently identified feels like evidence of our epidemic instinct.

Scientists have long known that the world will see the emergence of variants of the corona virus. Viruses are constantly evolving.

But when the South African health minister announced the discovery on Thursday Variation B.1.1.529, Which appears to be spreading rapidly in some parts of the country, is a strong reminder that the epidemic is not over yet.

Within hours of Thursday’s announcement, several countries – including the United States and the United Kingdom – banned travel from South Africa and surrounding African countries.

The New travel restrictions On Friday, President Joe Biden announced that officials would give the U.S. federal government more time to investigate the new Omigron variant that has emerged in South Africa. But not much.

Within the government, it is considered inevitable that a new variant will appear in the United States at some point, but the new regulations should give federal health agencies and their global counterparts more time to learn about variation, including the severity of the disease. . Based on current surveillance, officials do not believe this variant still exists in the United States.

Authorities acted swiftly and enforced the new regulations. Although the origin of the variation has been pointed out in recent weeks, it is only in the last few days that they have realized its severity.

U.S. officials are expected to speak with scientists again in South Africa on Sunday.

Effective measures against any variant, according to the doctor 1:30

Growing anxiety

The World Health Organization (WHO) quickly convened a panel of advisers and appointed a variant B.1.1.529 “Variation of anxiety“It was given the Greek name Omigron. The WHO has called on countries to improve monitoring and sequencing efforts to better understand the variants of the corona virus.

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Vaccine manufacturers have found variation to be a concern. The Omigron variant represents a “,” Moderna said.Significant potential risk“For your Govit-19 vaccine.

“The recently described Omigron variant includes mutations found in delta variants that are believed to increase transmission and mutations found in beta and delta variants that promote immune survival. Said in a press release on Friday.

Ómicron also hit the economy quickly. Oil fell 13% on Friday, the new variant of the Covid-19, as investors fear further government controls and slower economic growth. US crude was at a two-month low of $ 68.15 a barrel, down 13.1% from Wednesday’s close. This is the worst day for oil in the United States since April 27, 2020, when Covid-19 spread rapidly.

Now that scientists are quick to learn more about the variation, World Health Officers are urging people to wear masks, avoid crowded places, and get vaccinated if they have not already been vaccinated. Omigron is another example of what Covid-19 should look like.

What is the risk of a new variant of the corona virus called Omigron? 1:29

“This virus is going to continue to create variations”

“We understand that people are worried. The good thing is that there are surveillance systems around the world that can detect these variations very quickly. This variation was detected a few weeks ago, and scientists are already researching and sharing information with us. We can take action,” Govind-19 said. Maria van Kerkov, WHO’s head of technology for, said in a statement. Friday video.

“The most important thing as an individual is to minimize your exposure,” Van Kerkov said. “These proven public health measures are never important: keep yourself away, wear a mask, make sure your nose and mouth are clean with your hands, avoid crowded places, stay in well-ventilated rooms and vaccinate whenever you can.”

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As the world learns more about the Omigron variant, current guidance on mitigation measures such as wearing masks may change.

As the epidemic nears its end and the corona virus spreads – that is, it may have a stable presence but not affect a dangerous number of people – new variants are likely to continue to emerge.

“The virus will continue to create new variants, most of which will be inappropriate. However, classifying and monitoring new strains will be an important task to determine their significance,” said Dr. Amesh Atalja, chief researcher at the Center for Health Care. In an email to CNN on Friday from Johns Hopkins University.

“There will never be a time when there is a zero Govt-19 threat when the virus spreads,” Adalja wrote. “Once the virus has grown, I think public health recommendations will be more flexible, with some losing the ability to threaten the hospital’s capacity with high levels of immunity and population treatments, although some may voluntarily pursue them. Risk situations.”

Why do young people report an increase in Govt-19 infections? 3:30

Vaccine scientists have already tested Omigran

Looking to the future, Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers say they are ready to update their corona virus vaccines to target growing variants.

Bioendech scientists have already begun to study the impact of the Omigron variant on their vaccine, which was developed with Pfizer, and data is expected in the coming weeks.

“We understand the experts’ concerns and immediately begin an investigation into the B.1.1.529 variant,” BioNTech said in a statement Friday. “We expect additional data from the latest laboratory tests in two weeks.”

Moderna announced in a statement Friday that it is “working quickly” to test the effectiveness of its current vaccine against the Omigran variant with an expected date in the coming weeks.

If the current vaccine and booster shot are not adequate against the variant, the possible solution is to give people a higher dose of the vaccine, Moderna said.

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The company evaluates whether the two multivalent reinforcement candidates offer the best Omigron protection. Both candidates included some viral mutations in the new variant.

Moderna is also reviewing a specific backup candidate against Omigron.

“Since early 2021, Moderna has developed a comprehensive strategy to add new types of concerns,” the company said in a statement, adding that “this strategy includes a three-stage response”, which is not sufficient to increase the currently approved booster dose of the vaccine. Decreased immunity against omigran variant.

What is the risk of a new variant of the corona virus called Omigron? 1:29

In response to the revelation of the Omigron variant, Johnson & Johnson said in a company statement on Friday: “We are closely monitoring new strains of the Covid-19 virus with variants of the spike protein SARS-Cov-2, and we are testing new, fast-growing, first detected in South Africa.” The effectiveness of our vaccine against variability.

Vaccine maker AstraZeneca is trying to understand the impact of the Omigran variant on its corona virus vaccine and is also testing its antibody combination therapy against the new variant, a company spokesman said Friday.

The spokesman said the site used in the vaccine allows the company to respond quickly to new types.

“AstraZeneca is also researching variation locations in Botswana and Eswatini, which will allow it to collect real-world data from Vaxzevria against this new variant of the virus,” they said.

The company’s antibody therapy, AZD7442, has also been tested against variants, and AZD7442 contains two powerful antibodies with different and complementary actions against the virus, which Astrogeneca claims to be effective.

Dr. Gupta explains the data justifying booster doses 0:56

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Virginia Langmaid and Naomi Thomas contributed to the report.