The threat posed by the “highly mutated” Omicron variant shows what a “perilous and precarious” situation the world is in, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, as he warned that the pandemic would not end until every country has access to vaccines.

Submitted by mo2 on Sun, 01/02/2022 - 19:45

A spate of new studies on lab animals and human tissues are providing the first indication of why the Omicron variant causes milder disease than previous versions of the coronavirus.

In studies on mice and hamsters, Omicron produced less-damaging infections, often limited largely to the upper airway: the nose, throat and windpipe. The variant did much less harm to the lungs, where previous variants would often cause scarring and serious breathing difficulty.

Submitted by mo2 on Sat, 01/01/2022 - 20:42
Omicron is spreading at lightning speed. Scientists are trying to figure out why

In late November, more than 110 people gathered at a crowded Christmas party at a restaurant in Oslo, Norway. Most of the guests were fully vaccinated. One had returned from South Africa just a few days earlier and was unknowingly carrying the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.

Ultimately, about 70% of the partygoers were infected.

Scientists who traced this superspreader event concluded it was evidence that omicron was "highly transmissible" among fully vaccinated adults.

Submitted by mo2 on Fri, 12/31/2021 - 20:47

NAIROBI — South Africa’s huge wave of omicron cases appears to be subsiding just as quickly as it grew in the weeks after the country first announced to the world that a new coronavirus variant had been identified.

Submitted by mo2 on Wed, 12/22/2021 - 20:25

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE said initial lab studies show a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine may be needed to neutralize the omicron variant, results that will accelerate booster-shot drives around the world and may lead to use of new strain-specific vaccines. 

Submitted by mo2 on Wed, 12/08/2021 - 20:08

The CDC said Wednesday it has confirmed the first U.S. case of the new, heavily mutated coronavirus variant called omicron, which was detected in Northern California.

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said the patient, who was fully vaccinated, had just returned to the San Francisco area Nov. 22 after traveling in South Africa and tested positive Nov. 29.

Submitted by mo2 on Wed, 12/01/2021 - 19:59