Amid the unprecedented spread of the Omicron variant, scientists ponder over several competing theories on the heavily mutated strain’s origins. Meanwhile, despite being vaccinated it appears on 88 people’s health in Britain.
How Omicron found in London
At first, there was a party at the Oslo restaurant that resulted in 80 out of 111 guests catching Covid. Sadly, most of them are Omicron variants. It happened despite being double vaccinated and having tested negative before attending. Then came the seven German tourists who all traveled together to South Africa and caught Omicron despite having received a booster.
People are still not much aware
Many people only learn they have Omicron several days after receiving a positive PCR test. That’s because not all samples are being sequenced for the variant and because only a third of labs in England are capable of telling people immediately if they have it, said the Specter. Still, most people are not aware of it.
Most labs don’t have the technical capabilities
Most labs don’t yet have the technical capabilities to detect the gene “dropout” associated with Omicron, A scientist explained, adding: “It’s not about whether it is a good or bad lab, it’s just what they were set up to do.”
Scientists are puzzling
Omicron’s sheer number of mutations has raised many questions. It is including whether the variant will evade vaccines, spread more easily and lead to severe illness. The strain’s changes are also causing scientists to puzzle over its origins. When the scientist who first detected the new variant in late November took samples from foreign diplomats who had traveled together to Botswana and sequenced them, the international database provided a surprise: The samples most closely resembled a strain first detected in early April 2020 and known as the UAE lineage.
Do current vaccines protect against the omicron variant?
Like everything else with the omicron variant, more research is needed for a clear-cut idea. The idea is how well current vaccines protect us against the new mutation. There’s no word yet regarding how effective the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are against the omicron variant, but research from those companies is ongoing. Dr. Englund said that if the existing vaccines need to be updated, the wait won’t be a long one.