The image of the Omicron mutation was first published

Italian scientists present for the first time a comparative image of Omicron and Delta, showing the huge amount of mutations of the new strain.

The illustration, published by Bambino Gesu hospital on November 27, shows that Omicron has many mutant spikes in the area where it interacts with human cells. Its contact area is also larger, indicating higher infectivity than Delta. The number of mutations in Omicron is 43, while in Delta is 18. There is no comment from scientists about the illustration above by the Bambino Gesu research group.

The strain also contains two mutations, P681H and N679K, at the furin cleavage site (the site that helps the virus to enter the cell). This is the first time that scientists have recorded these two mutations in a single strain.

Omicrons most likely come from an immunocompromised patient who is not able to clear the virus on their own. The same hypothesis has been proposed with the Alpha variant.

According to the scientists, the new changes show that the virus is better adapted to humans. However, it’s too early to say whether the mutations actually make Omicron more dangerous than previous strains.

Omicron was noted by the World Health Organization as a ‘worrying variant’ on November 27. Sharon Peacock, professor of public health and microbiology at the University of Cambridge, UK, said: “There are two approaches going forward, either waiting for more scientific evidence, or acting now. In my opinion. , the best way is to proactively stay ahead of the virus instead of waiting.”

A strain becomes a strain of concern (VOC) when the viral genomic changes are clinically significant or have the following: increased transmissibility; virulence (severity of disease) increases; change vaccine effectiveness (reduce effectiveness); change diagnostic efficiency (current diagnostic methods are no longer effective)…

Currently, the VOC group includes mutants Alpha, Beta, Gama, Delta. The Variant of Interest (VOI) has Lambda and Mu.

The Omicron variant was first recorded in South Africa on November 24, some other infections were also detected in Botswana, Belgium, Israel and the Hong Kong special administrative region of China.

Faced with the threat of this mutation, the US and the European Union (EU) from November 29 began banning flights from South Africa and surrounding areas. Four Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore have tightened travel with southern African countries, requiring quarantine of entry people in recent days.

The UK also banned entry for people from South Africa and five neighboring countries. Similar moves have been made in Australia, Japan, India, Iran, Brazil and Canada.

Israel is expected to ban all foreigners from entering the country from the night of November 28, becoming the first country in the world to completely close its borders to prevent the risk of Omicron mutations from entering.


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