With the advent of the new SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutant that causes COVID-19, you may have wondered why the coronavirus keeps mutating.
According to John Segretti, who is an infectious disease specialist and medical director of infection control and prevention at Rush University Medical Center, there is a simple answer: “That’s what the virus does.”
how are the variations
Segrity is of all types of virus. When it infects a person and the virus replicates, an error occurs and the virus genetic code can change. This code contains the instructions that the virus needs to reproduce. It cannot thrive because some mistakes in the genetic code make it impossible for the virus to replicate. But the other mistake, he says, is that the virus may have made more tools to survive. This results in variants such as the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant. It currently accounts for the majority of COVID-19 cases in Illinois.
The latest version, called OmicronFirst, has been detected in South Africa and now in the United States, a proof that the virus is constantly changing. And the more people infected with the coronavirus, the more replication can happen and the more mutations that lead to new forms of the virus.
“If you want to reduce the number of variants, you need to reduce the number of people infected,” Segretti says.
Omicron doesn’t last
The World Health Organization (WHO) has named mutant strains of concern and interest for SARS-CoV-2 after the Greek alphabet. Omicron, which represents the 15th letter of the Greek letter, is certainly not the last coronavirus mutant. Segretti expects that to exceed the capacity of the ancient alphabet of 24 characters.
“Extend the number of people infected with hundreds of millions of viruses for everyone, and you have a huge number of potential mutations that you can do,” he says. ,
Tired of the new variants? Get Vaccinated
The best protection against the Delta and Omicron variants is to get a vaccination or booster, says Segretti. For adults, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) receives a Pfizer or Moderna booster if at least 6 months have passed after completing the first-duplicate vaccination series with Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine. It says it needs to be done. If you received a Johnson & Johnson vaccination at least two months ago, the CDC states that you need to get booster immunity along with any available COVID-19 vaccines.
The CDC also recommends promoting immunization of the 16-year-old and 17-year-old Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines if at least 6 months have passed since the first Pfizer vaccination series.
Other safety measures for all include wearing masks, practicing social distancing and staying home in case of illness.
Infectious disease experts encourage vaccination to fight COVID-19 mutants
Rush University Medical Center
CitationWhy keep getting new coronavirus variants? (December 14, 2021) Retrieved on December 14, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-12-coronavirus-variants.html
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