Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Omicron v. delta: Battle of coronavirus mutants is critical


December 7, 2021


A lot remains a mystery about omicron, which has more than twice the number of mutations as the delta variant, with the bulk found in the spike, the crown-like protein on the surface of the virus that vaccines train our bodies to attack. This colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (orange/red) was captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in 2020.

As the omicron coronavirus variant spreads in southern Africa and pops up in countries all around the world, scientists are anxiously watching a battle play out that could determine the future of the pandemic. Can the latest competitor to the world-dominating delta overthrow it?

Some scientists, poring over data from South Africa and the United Kingdom, suggest omicron could emerge the victor.

"It's still early days, but increasingly, data is starting to trickle in, suggesting that omicron is likely to outcompete delta in many, if not all, places," said Dr. Jacob Lemieux, who monitors variants for a research collaboration led by Harvard Medical School.


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