Omikron is expanding rapidly. The new variant of the coronavirus already accounts for 3.6% of all cases in Switzerland. According to the World Health Organization and also due to previous data from South Africa, it has been shown that the alternative can cause less severe symptoms.
So isn’t Omicron that bad after all? The American data analytics company from Cambridge has one Prepress – Study The publication, which believes it is possible for the variant to incorporate genetic material from cold viruses into its RNA. This would make Omikron a harmless pathogen.
However, experts consider this claim to be nonsense. Virologist Stuart Neal of King’s College London fired a shot at this statement on Twitter: “Authors should broaden their work by explaining why this idea is nonsense.”
Virologist Marco Bender of the German Center for Cancer Research (DKFZ) agrees with Neil. He said, “I don’t know anyone of high standing who would buy a hypothesis out of paper.” Spiegel. She was “pulled by her hair”. In their work, the authors talk about three additional amino acids in the Omikron spike protein. However, the origin is still unclear. “They can come from anywhere, and there is currently no indication that the cold coronavirus has anything to do with it,” Bender says.
Spread critical to the success of the variable
Bender asserts that it is wrong for the virus to weaken and become more harmful in the course of evolution. “The only thing that decides whether a variant is successful is how widespread it is.”
This can be seen with Ebola. The spread of the highly deadly virus can be curbed in part because those infected have not come into close contact with other people due to their severe illness. However, outbreaks keep coming and “so far we haven’t noticed that they have become more harmful,” says Hajo Zeb of the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology. If the thesis was correct, almost all viruses would have evolved into harmless variants by now.
This means for Omikron: as long as the variant is highly contagious, you can practically ignore the positive characteristic of the moderate course. Because the increase in infections automatically means that there are many more patients than before. This particularly affects people who have not been vaccinated.
Vaccination is especially important
Because what the research results show so far is that the cycle is milder, especially in convalescent and vaccinated people. The explanation lies in the T cells. The antibodies that are supposed to prevent infection seem to work less well in Omikron. The cellular immune response, which the virus contains in the body after infection, gives cause for hope. As a consequence, the T-cell response to Omikron would be expected to continue to respond well, thus preventing the acute course in the vast majority of cases. This means that vaccination – ideally with a booster – is more important than ever! ‘,” says virologist Marco Bender of the DKFZ to Spiegel.
On Wednesday, the company said that, according to preliminary lab data, two doses did not adequately protect against infection with the newly discovered variant. However, they assume that protection against dangerous diseases remains. Companies have already begun to adapt their vaccine to the Omikron variant. (a leg)
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