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Expect more worrisome variants after omicron, scientists say

Boston University
The World Health Organization
Johns Hopkins University
the Centre for Global Health Research
St. Michael’s Hospital
the Institute for Molecular Virology
the University of Minnesota
on.”___The Associated Press Health
Science Department
the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education

Leonardo Martinez
Stuart Campbell Ray
Anne Thomas
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Prabhat Jha
Louis Mansky


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the United States

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Positivity     39.00%   
   Negativity   61.00%
The New York Times
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Every infection provides a chance for the virus to mutate, and omicron has an edge over its predecessors: It spreads way faster despite emerging on a planet with a stronger patchwork of immunity from vaccines and prior illness.That means more people in whom the virus can further evolve. Pet dogs and cats, deer and farm-raised mink are only a few of the animals vulnerable to the virus, which can potentially mutate within them and leap back to people.Another potential route: With both omicron and delta circulating, people may get double infections that could spawn what Ray calls “Frankenvariants,” hybrids with characteristics of both types.When new variants do develop, scientists said it’s still very difficult to know from genetic features which ones might take off. For a virus that spreads exponentially, he said, “anything that curbs transmission can have a great effect.” Also, when vaccinated people get sick, Ray said their illness is usually milder and clears more quickly, leaving less time to spawn dangerous variants.Experts say the virus won’t become endemic like the flu as long as global vaccination rates are so low.

As said here by LAURA UNGAR