Covid: How was Omicron born and what does this variant mean for coronavirus epidemics?

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When South African scientists first discovered the newly discovered variant of the coronavirus Omicron, many things became known.

The first and most important thing to know is that this variant has undergone a lot of transformations that have never been noticed by any expert before.

“Omicron found something completely different,” said Dr. Richard Lesles, Infectious Diseases Specialist at Kawazulu-Natal University. The team that first identified the variant in late November is one of them.

Dr. Lesles and his colleagues realize that something unusual has happened.

They believe that this variant has been transformed into the body of a man in a country near the Sahara Desert, who had a weakened immune system. They assume the person might be infected with HIV with no treatment. And since then the virus has spread to more than 40 countries.

There are at least two plausible explanations for the origin of this variant. But most scientists support the “spread from one person to another” theory.

But where did this variant come from, why is it important and how was it born?

Origin of Omicron:

We still do not know for sure where and under what circumstances Omicron originated. However, it is known that the World Health Organization was first informed about this variant from South Africa on November 24.

However, it is important for scientists and public health experts to know where and when the virus was found. Because of this information they can decide on lockdowns and travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. However, the effectiveness of these measures is being debated.

The sooner a new variant is identified, the more time is available to decide how seriously it should be taken. Is it known that this virus is more contagious than the previous variants?

Can it spread very quickly in the body of an infected person and make you seriously ill? Can it evade the human immune system?

If the Omicron variant actually comes from a patient with a weakened immune system, it means that it is very important to keep an eye on such people to deal with the Kovid epidemic.

“We now have more information to suggest that coronavirus infections are associated with people with weakened immune systems,” he said. Larry Corey is a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, USA.

“However, such individuals have not yet been taken seriously in the Kovid resistance strategy,” he said.

How can it be born in a person’s body?

Scientists say they have a number of clues about the origin of Omicron from which they can deduce an idea.

Dr. Lesles said that there is a big difference between the current variants of Omicron.

“Genetic analysis has shown that it comes from a completely different branch.”

More importantly, the Omicron variant does not have a track record of its most recent conversion or mutation. Scientist Lesley said the closest variant of this variant was found sometime in mid-2020.

Franোয়াois Baloo, a professor of computational biology systems at University College London, said it was difficult to know from this time gap where it came from. And it’s kind of very, very different.

An analysis of variants of Omicron found that the new strain of the virus had undergone 50 mutations, with more than 30 occurring in its spike protein. Spike protein is a part of the virus through which the virus decides how it will fight the human body’s immune system. Fresh Bazar

The spike protein in the Delta variant changed only seven times.

Now the question is how did the Omicron variant change so much from its predecessor viruses without our notice?

Although most people get rid of the SARS Cove-2 virus in a very short time, studies around the world have shown that patients with weakened immune systems can carry the virus for a much longer period of time.

Such people include patients with HIV or cancer or those who have had an organ transplant.

Due to the lack of resistance in their body, there is an opportunity for many changes in the virus. Usually, a mutation causes a virus to spread widely among many people.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge issued a warning in December 2020 after collecting samples from a cancer patient who had died in Covid in the UK. The patient died in August. The researchers found a change in the virus that attacked the patient’s body, which was also seen in the alpha variant.

This variant was also first described by the World Health Organization as a “worrying variant” that was found in the United Kingdom in September last year.

The patient died 101 days after being initially identified.

“Usually a person’s coronavirus infection lasts only seven days. This time is not enough to change the virus, because the person’s immune system is at war with the virus,” said Professor Ravi Gupta, who led the study at Cambridge University.

He said that those who have a weakened immune system are more likely to be infected with the virus.

“The development of the virus requires an immune system that is neither effective nor partially effective,” he said.

Dr. Lesles and colleagues conducted research on a coronavirus sample of a woman living with HIV in South Africa. The woman did not receive any treatment for HIV. the results of this study were printed last June.

They have repeatedly analyzed the genetics of the specimen and found that it had undergone “some major changes.”

Researchers warn that this could lead to a crisis in public health.

Dr. In an article published in the December 1 issue of the science journal Nature, Lesley and his colleagues said that about 6 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are with HIV and aren’t presently receiving effective antiretroviral medical aid.

There are many more who have never been tested for the disease.

Dr. If Lesles and Professor Gupta are right, then there is a risk that this new variant will be born and spread.

Other theories:

Scientists say there are two more seemingly plausible theories about the origin of Omicron.

One of them is – Omicron originated from another animal. This means that the virus is transmitted to an unknown animal and transmitted inside the virus before it enters the human body, as has been the case with the SARS-Cove-2 virus.

However, Dr. Larry Corey says that genetic analysis of Omicron still suggests that it originated in the human body.

“The evidence we have is that these variants from animals are less likely to enter the human body,” he said. Professor Balu said they also did not get any such clue.

The second idea about the origin of the amygdala is – it was not born in the body of a single person but was transmitted through infection in people of a certain area. It happened in one of the countries in Africa and then it reached South Africa.

Brazilian biologist and researcher said. Atila Marino believes that this may have been the case with Omicron.

Dr. Find the similarity of the origin of gamma variant with the origin of Emerino Omicron. The gamma variant was infected earlier this year in the Brazilian city of Manaus.

“Even once the gamma variant was known, there was verbalize an individual being born with a weakened system,” he said.

“But later it was proved that there were some carriers in the middle which were not detected. There was also a change inside the virus as it spread among the locals.”

Dr. Emarino thinks that if more research is done, the same picture may be found in the case of Omicron.

“Omicron was first identified on a continent where the testing and monitoring system is less than anywhere else in the world.”

“Omicron might be spreading for an extended amount of your time than we predict at the instant,” he said.

Will the first victim ever be found?

Even those who support the ‘theory of origin in the body of one person are not completely disproving other ideas. However, they believe that the evidence that has been found so far is in their favor.

So will we ever know about the first person who had an Omicron variant in his body?

This person is called “Patient Zero” who is the first to be infected with a virus or bacterial infection.

Finding the first such person is important because it provides answers to many important questions. Such as how, when, and why the disease started.

And if the answers to these questions are known, it may be possible to save many lives from this disease now and in the future.

But scientists have not yet been able to identify that patient Zero. It’s not just about Omicron, the first person affected by the current variants has yet to be identified.

Richard Lesley thinks Omicron’s chances of finding Patient Zero are slim.

“But we need to make sure that those who are living with HIV are not discriminated against or embarrassed,” he said.

As of mid-November, less than 7% of the total population in Africa has been vaccinated as part of a charity called Our World in Data, compared to 40% worldwide.

Southampton University in the United Kingdom. Michael Head thinks that in order to prevent the emergence of the Covid variant, we need to pay more attention to the inequality of the ticker.

“There are many reasons behind the emergence of new variants. But one of the main reasons for this is the inequality of the ticker. I believe that the inequality in Africa is due to the emergence of the Omicron variant,” he said.

Dr. Head same the Omicron variant has “alerted the US once more” to balance vaccinations around the world.

“If you’re not insusceptible, you’re a lot of probably to be sick for an extended time and seriously sick,” he said.

“This means that the virus is getting more and more opportunities for new mutations, so the risk of more variants appearing to be alarming is increasing.”

Dr. Lesles thinks the “one-man” concept could lead to stronger vaccination programs in Africa. Many others like him think that those who have not yet been vaccinated should be given priority now.

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