What is the new corona mutant `Omicron`? What is the meaning of the name? And why is it `alarming`?

طقس العرب GO 2021-11-27 2021-11-27T11:05:34Z
رنا السيلاوي
رنا السيلاوي
محرر أخبار - قسم التواصل الاجتماعي
What is the new corona mutant `Omicron`? What is the meaning of the name? And why is it `alarming`?

Arab Weather - The new Corona virus mutant (B.1.1.529) was discovered on November 24, and within two days the World Health Organization called it “Omicron” and described it as a “worrying mutant”, and this is what we know so far about this The new mutant in the Corona virus.

 

What is the new mutant "Omicron"? What is the reason for the label?

The mutation known scientifically as (B.1.1.529) was little known until November 24, when South African officials reported it to the World Health Organization, after it caused infections to increase at faster rates than previous strains, suggesting that this variant may have an advantage. greater spread.

 

Classified as a "mutant of concern" by the World Health Organization on Friday, the World Health Organization gave it the name Omicron, based on the Greek alphabet. Since the emergence of Covid 19, the United States has been using letters from the Greek alphabet, such as “alpha, beta, gamma and delta”, in order to name the mutants that appear.

 

As of the evening of November 26, the mutant has so far been detected in South Africa, occupied Palestine, Hong Kong, Belgium and the Netherlands, and media reports indicated that the case in Belgium was for a non-immune person who had traveled from Egypt - but one case was reported in the occupied entity (Palestine) It was for someone who had taken three doses of the vaccine, the last of which was just two months ago.

 

What kind of concern does the new mutant 'Omicron' raise?

The World Health Organization has four levels of classification for novel coronavirus mutants, which are in ascending order: Under Watch - Interesting - Concern - Severe Consequences.

 

The CDC defines a "worrying" mutation as:

  • Mutant showed increased transmissibility
  • Cause more severe illness (increased hospitalization or mortality)
  • More able to evade antibodies generated during infection or that result from vaccination
  • Reduced efficacy of treatments or vaccines
  • Diagnostic detection failed

The "delta" mutation, for example, which caused an increase in the number of infections in the United States during the summer, was a worrying one.

 

How does Omicron differ from other variants, and why is this cause for concern?

First, more research is needed on the Omicron variant before the realistic functional differences between it and the other variants become clear.

 

But so far, the most disturbing difference is that it contains an "unusually large pool of mutations." Of those roughly 50 mutations, there are more than 30 mutations on the virus' "spike protein," including 10 on a key protein (the ACE2 receptor). Which helps the virus infect human cells - while the delta variant has two mutations on the ACE2 receptor, the beta variant has three.

 

The World Health Organization has therefore classified Omicron as a "variable of concern", referring to the "large number of mutations" as well as how "preliminary evidence indicates an increased risk of recurrence" of the variant.

 

More research is still needed, and many scientists, though concerned, caution against pessimistic assumptions while conducting this research.

 

The world's reaction to the mutant "Omicron"?

Less than 48 hours after the world discovered the omicron mutation, most major governments have imposed travel bans to and from South Africa.

 

Both Pfizer and Moderna said that if the variant is in fact more vaccine-resistant than previous strains, they can develop and ship a modified vaccine in about 100 days.

 

Mark Levine, the chair of the New York City Council's health committee and the incoming president of the Manhattan Borough, on Friday called for restrictions to be immediately reimposed in the city.

Meanwhile, New York Gov. Cathy Hochhol declared a state of emergency and said that while Omicron has not yet been discovered in the state, it is "coming."

 

On Thursday, the UK announced it was temporarily banning flights from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The UK said that when travel resumes, UK nationals will be able to return but will face quarantine.

 

The European Union has also asked its member states to halt air travel from South Africa until more research is done on the new mutation. Several countries in Europe have temporarily banned or restricted travel from South Africa and other countries in the region, with many returning citizens and residents demanding Quarantine upon arrival.

 

On Friday, the potential entity in Palestine banned travel from most African countries, with the exception of those in North Africa. Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Japan have also imposed a range of restrictions and quarantine requirements for travelers from the region.

 

News of the new mutation sent global stock markets lower on Friday, as investor fears about the alternative led to a massive sell-off in global markets on Friday. The Dow was down 800 points at the open in the US, while markets in Europe, Japan and Hong Kong all fell a few percentage points as well.

This article was written originally in Arabic and is translated using a 3rd party automated service. ArabiaWeather is not responsible for any grammatical errors whatsoever.

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