At the end of November, the WHO (World Health Organization) reported a new variant of concern: B.1.1.529 or Omicron.
This variant was first discovered in South Africa, where it has already led to an unprecedented increase in corona cases. It is characterised by a large number of mutations, which make it likely that this variant can partially undermine the immunity of vaccinated and recovered individuals.
Most European countries have closed their airports for flights from southern Africa in order to at least slow down the spread. But it now seems clear that Omivron had already spread throughout the world before it was discovered.
Fears are that Omicron is more contagious and dangerous than Delta (the currently predominant variant). So far, there is no evidence for the latter; only mild cases of disease have been reported in people infected with omicron.
As a incurable optimist, I hope that Omicron is harmless and, because of its very high infectivity, will displace all other variants – especially Delta – and that the pandemic will thus soon come to a natural end.
In any case, Omicron gives us a lot of puzzles and it will take some time before research can say more about this new Corona variant.
In the meantime: Don’t worry, be happy!
Image: Pixabay © Alexandra_Koch