publish date 2021-12-21 09:23:54
The new mutant of the Corona virus “Omicron” has become widespread in about 90 countries in the world, which means that the risk of infection with it has become great for millions of people on the planet.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that “Omicron” has become the dominant mutator in coronavirus infections in the country, with more than 73 percent of cases.
The rapid spread of this new strain of the Corona virus that causes “Covid-19” raises several questions, and the British newspaper “Daily Mail” sought to answer it, relying on experts in this field, the most prominent of which are:
The evidence so far shows that the infection is mild, and may cause less damage to the lungs than previous strains such as “Delta” and “Wuhan”.
According to a study conducted by the University of Cambridge, “Omicron” appears to be less able to infect cells in the deep part of the lungs, which could lead to serious injury.
“Reports from South Africa show that severe cases of the disease have been surprisingly low, especially when compared to the total number of infections of the new mutant,” says Andrew Preston, professor of microbial diseases at the University of Bath.
“We have to be careful about reading this experience in relation to the UK because of the different nature of the population,” he adds.
Preliminary evidence shows that Omicron’s symptoms are more similar to those of the common cold, such as a runny nose, headache, and fatigue, whether mild or severe, as well as sneezing and sore throat.
These symptoms differ with the known symptoms of previous mutants of the virus, such as loss of taste and smell. According to Professor Preston, the reason may be due to the number of mutations present in the new mutant, which makes it different from what preceded it, for example, in “Omicron” there are 50 mutant, including 32 in the “S” gene responsible for encoding the “Spike” protein that allows Its penetration into human cells.
Another factor is that people’s immune levels cause the virus to change the way it deals with our bodies, limiting the amount of virus that reaches our bodies.
There is evidence that these mutations made the virus more able to bind to the receptor (ACE2), that is, the ACE2 receptor, which is the first key to the connection of corona with human cells, which facilitates the infection of our cells.
Omicron has a greater ability to evade immunity, whether from vaccination or previous infection, so it is able to infect people more than the rest of the mutant.
The quick answer is “yes,” says Professor Preston, as the new mutation appears to be better able to overcome protection built by humans from delta infection or a previous vaccination.
This is not surprising, since to some extent “delta” was able to evade the immunity stimulated by infection with the “alpha” mutant.
The two doses of the antiviral vaccine provide less protection against the new mutant, compared to the ‘delta’ mutant.
Preliminary data show that 25 weeks after the second dose, the level of protection against “Omicron” ranges from 10 to 40 percent, according to an analysis shown by the Health Security Agency in Britain.
For example, two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine provided 40 percent protection against Delta infection, and possibly less than 10 percent against Omicron.
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