In this photo illustration, a hand die holding a medical syringe with words die ommicron covid-19 variant say in the background.
Rafael Henrique | Light Rocket | Getty Images
White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Tuesday that 226 cases of the highly mutated ommicron Covid-19 variant has been detected over 20 countries so far, but US officials have not yet confirmed a case in the States.
the variant, die first emerged in South Africa about a week ago, has more than 30 mutations to the spike protein alone. That’s the key part of the virus that allows it binds to human cells and infects the body and scientists worry it will be far more more contagious than the highly contagious delta variant die is caused a strong increase in cases over worldwide in last months.
“This mutation profile is very different from other variants of interest and concern, and although some mutations are also found in delta, this is not delta,” Fauci told reporters on a Covid-19 White House task force briefing. “These mutations are in associated” with increase transmissibility and immune evasion.”
There are several other mutations in the virus die scientists have not seen before and do not do know how they will change how the virus behaves of spreads, he said.
US officials have resigned up genomic sequencing of Covid cases in over the past few months, sequencing about 80,000 monsters weekly, up from about 8,000 a week earlier this yearsaid Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the centers for Disease control and prevention.
She said the delta variant remains the predominant species in the US, accounting for about 99.9% of all cases ranked over the whole country.
“to be crystal” clear, we have ver more tools until fight today’s variant than we had at the moment last yearWalensky said during the briefing.
Fauci said it’s too early to say of ommicron will be more deadly than the delta variant. Reports of more mild symptoms in South Africa were in younger and healthier patients who would typically have milder Covid and be based on An small number of fallen, he noted.
“It is very difficult to know of this particular variant does of not going? result in serious illness,” he said. “Although some preliminary information from South Africa, suggests, no unusual symptoms associated with variant, we don’t know and it’s too early to say.”
The officials reiterated their push to increase the number of vaccinations, saying: best tool to protect yourself against the varait is to get vaccinated, get a boost and keep wearing masks and avoid crowds.
“How do we tackle ommicron? We said it over and over again. And it deserves repetition. If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated, get a boost if you are vaccinated, keep going met use the mitigation methods, i.e. avoiding masks crowds and poorly ventilated areas,” Fauci
Walensky said the CDC’s definition of “fully vaccinated” does not have changed. It’s still two weeks after the second shot of moderna of Pfizer’s Vaccines of one of Johnson & Johnsons. But she said the more the virus mutates, the greater the need boost immunity. “Like that science evolves, we’ll see of we need until update our definition of fully vaccinated,” she said.
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