Omicron, a new strain of the coronavirus, has scientists all around the world scurrying to assess its potential dangers. According to the World Health Organization, an entire picture of the threat presented by Omicron may not be known for some years.COVID-19 cases in South Africa’s most populated province are likely to have been caused by a new strain of the virus that was detected by scientists in South Africa last week, leading financial markets to fall and public events to be canceled throughout the globe. Flights to and from other countries were also grounded as a consequence.

What We Know And Don’t Know About The Omicron Variant

Over the weekend, the number of countries where the new variance in passengers has been discovered has grown. A single incidence of the new variety was found among the players of a single soccer squad that just returned from a trip to South Africa.

What We Know And Don't Know About The Omicron Variant

The World Health Organization has recognized COVID-19 variation “omicron” as a “variant of concern,” which is the most severe designation the WHO can give to a COVID-19 variant. This label is meant to minimize stigmatizing nations of origin and simplify comprehension. According to a statement issued on Sunday by the United Nations’ health organization, we don’t know much about Omicron yet.

Reporters were divided on whether Omicron was more easily spread than other variants of the virus, such as the extremely contagious delta version. In spite of the fact that data from South Africa revealed an increase in hospitalizations owing to omicron infection, it was claimed that the results were preliminary and that it was unclear whether omicron infection was associated with more severe illness.

As of Saturday, there were more than 3,200 new confirmed cases every day in South Africa; the great majority occurred in the country’s most populous region, the province of Gauteng. More than 90% of new cases in Gauteng are now caused by this virus, according to Tulio de Oliveira, director of KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform in Durban, South Africa.

If you’ve already been infected with COVID-19, you may be more vulnerable to reinfection with Omicron; in other words, people who have been infected with Omicron may be more susceptible to reinfection with different COVID-19 variants.

There are roughly 30 alterations in the coronavirus spike protein in the new strain, which might affect how easily it spreads to people. Some experts feel that vaccine makers may have to alter their products in the future as a result of this new information.

COVID-19’s mutations are “associated with greater transmissibility,” according to geneticist Sharon Peacock. However, she warned that “the significance of many of the mutations is still not understood,” according to the University of Cambridge scientist.

According to Lawrence Young, an expert in viral genetics at the University of Warwick, there have never been any viruses like Omicron, with potentially dangerous mutations never before reported in the same virus.

According to experts, genetic variations between Omicron and beta and delta variants have not been shown to make it more transmissible and hazardous than the beta and delta variants. So yet, there is no indication that the mutation is linked to a more serious illness. If Omicron is getting more infectious and immunizations are no longer effective, it will take weeks to detect.