The new variant of the coronavirus, Ômicron, has triggered travel restrictions and shook financial markets.
South Africa’s Health Minister Joe Phaahla reported that scientists at the country’s Genomic Surveillance Network have discovered the new variant of Covid-19, technically called B.1.1.529. On Friday (26), the World Health Organization (WHO) defined the name of the strain of Ômicron and classified it as a variant of concern.
There is concern that mutations associated with the variant could lead to immune escape and increased transmissibility.
The WHO also said it will take “a few weeks” to study the new variant and warned of a moment of caution.
To date, the WHO has identified five strains of concern for the virus. In addition, there are two variants of interest and seven strains under surveillance.
The different strains of the new coronavirus are a concern of the global scientific community. Find out if you’re in the know!
What are variants of concern of the new coronavirus?
How many are the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern?
Why is classification of a variant necessary?
How are the official names of variants defined?
What is the name of the P.1 variant identified in Manaus, Brazil, according to the nomenclature of the World Health Organization?
All variants of concern defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) have already been detected in Brazil
Are worry variants more lethal?
Covid-19 Vaccines Work Against Variants
There are hundreds of variants of the new coronavirus
Will new variants continue to appear in the world?
Will new variants continue to appear in the world?
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Originally known as B.1.1.7, the Alpha variant was first identified in September 2020 in Kent County, UK. This strain is highly transmissible and has been detected in more than 80 countries.
First seen in South Africa, this variant has the E484K mutation, which is linked to immune escape, and the N501Y mutation, which is suspected of helping other variants to be more contagious.
It has been shown to be 50% more transmissible and escape treatment with Lilly’s monoclonal antibodies, but not others. Blood tests and the real-life study suggest it can infect people who have recovered from Covid-19 as well as people who have been vaccinated against the disease.
Initially called P.1, it was seen for the first time in Brazil, it also has mutations E484K and N501Y, in addition to more than 30 other mutations. It has been shown to escape the effects of Lilly’s monoclonal antibody treatment, but not one produced by Regeneron.
Blood tests show that the Gamma variant can escape natural and vaccine-induced immune responses.
The Delta variant, originally known as B.1.617.2, has been around since late 2020, but in recent months it has quickly become dominant in many countries. It accounts for more than 80% of newly diagnosed cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Delta variant is more transferable, although the exact level of increase is not very clear. Estimates range from 60% to over 200% depending on the study.
A CDC document indicates that the Delta variant is as transmissible as chickenpox (poxpox): each infected person infects up to eight or nine, on average. The original variant of the coronavirus, the CDC noted, was as contagious as the common cold, with each infected person infecting two others.
On 26 November, WHO added this strain to the list of variants of concern. Cases have been identified in Botswana, South Africa, Hong Kong, Israel, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
Some of the coronavirus variants of interest:
The Mu variant was first identified in Colombia in January and has since been reported in 39 countries, according to the report. Although the overall prevalence of the Mu variant has decreased and is currently below 0.1%, its prevalence in Colombia has increased to 39% and in Ecuador to 13%.
This coronavirus variant was first identified in Peru in December 2020. On June 14, 2021 it was designated as a variant of interest.
The variant is not as worrisome as the Delta variant in the United States, which has driven a nationwide increase in cases, but early studies suggest it has mutations that make it more transmissible than the original coronavirus variant.
“Lambda has mutations that are worrisome, but this variant is still very rare in the United States, despite being present for several months,” wrote Preeti Malani, director of health for the division of infectious diseases, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
With information from Alejandra Oraa, Elmer Huerta and Juan Pablo Elverdín, from CNN en Español; Maggie Fox, Jacqueline Howard, Ivana Kottasová, Sheena McKenzie and Armand Azad of CNN International.
This is a translated text. To read the original in Spanish, click here.
Reference: CNN Brasil