Several related issues of the new variant virus Omicron

Several related issues of the new variant virus Omicron
Several related issues of the new variant virus Omicron

        The new variant of COVID-19 virus Omicron has attracted international attention. Scientists are worried that its spreading power may make the epidemic worse. At the end of the year, the peak of transnational crowd movement, many countries have resorted to entry and exit restrictions to prevent epidemic. What are the characteristics of Omicron? Let's take a look at the following aspects together.
Why does the new variant worry scientists?
        There are 32 mutations in the spinous protein of the Omicron mutant strain, which combines the mutation characteristics of the previous variants, such as Alpha, Gamma, and Lambda, including mutations related to virus entry into cells and immune escape, which can evade the body's defense system, which makes experts worried.
Stronger dissemination?
        The new mutant strain was first discovered in South Africa and Botswana, and the number of related cases has increased rapidly in Gauteng Province in northeast South Africa in the past two weeks, replacing the originally popular Delta mutant strain, and it is estimated that it may become the next wave of mainstream virus strains in South Africa. Hong Kong, Belgium, Israel have also seen cases one after another, but the exact transmission power still needs more data analysis.
Is the vaccine still useful?
        Most vaccines use the spike protein of the virus to prevent the human immune system from being infected with COVID-19. However, the spike protein mutation of the Omicron variant will affect the ability of the virus to infect cells and spread, making it more difficult for immune cells to attack pathogens, which may reduce vaccines effectiveness, but the actual degree of impact remains to be verified.
Will there be more severe cases?
        There is no conclusion yet. The World Health Organization reminded that the new variant strain is "a cause for concern." Evidence shows that COVID-19 has harmful mutations, it may take several weeks to find out whether there are any changes in the infection, severity, and vaccines, testing, and treatment.
How do countries respond?
        Currently, entry restrictions are still the mainstay. The United States began restricting the entry of travelers from eight countries including South Africa on November 29, and urged the public to get additional vaccines as soon as possible. The European Union recommends imposing travel restrictions on people from seven countries in southern Africa, but the exact measures are up to each member state to decide. Japan has strengthened entry controls on nine countries in southern Africa, and relevant persons must be quarantined in designated places for 10 days. There has been a wave of departures from Johannesburg Airport in South Africa on the 26th.
International stock market and oil prices plummeted
        The tension caused by the new variant strain has been reflected in the financial level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its biggest drop this year during the session, and it fell by 905.04 points in the end. International oil prices were also affected, with North Sea Brent crude oil crashing 10.2%.


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