A new type of COVID-19 known as Omikron, recently discovered in South Africa, has banned flights to and from parts of Africa, and has resulted in robust research to determine the effectiveness of a vaccine against it.
There is also the gamma variable, which is 0.1 percent. So are alpha and beta, each less than 0.1 percent. Lesser known variants such as Lambda and Mu are rare and not yet fully researched.
However, WHO considers that there are regional and national differences where other variables predominate, for example in some South American countries where delta spreads more slowly.
According to the researchers, the emergence of new variants is a natural process that occurs when the Corona virus mutates to ensure its survival. Most variants have little or no effect on a virus’s ability to infect or cause serious illness.
However, some variables can affect the ability to spread the virus, the severity of the disease it causes and how well the vaccine will respond to it.
WHO experts, who study the evolution of COVID-19, met Friday to determine whether the new alternative should be considered “alarming” or “interesting.” They announced that it would take “several weeks” to determine the extent of Omicron’s infection and how severe it could be causing disease.
Currently, only the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants have been classified by the World Health Organization as “of concern”. Mu and Lambda are considered “interesting variants” because they show genetic changes that potentially mean they can become more contagious, harder to detect or cause serious illness.
The delta variant is about as contagious as the other variants, and the vaccines are about 40 percent less effective at preventing the other variants.
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