The Omicron variant is a highly mutated version of COVID-19, Italian researchers have confirmed in publishing the first images of the new strain, scmp.com reported over the weekend.
The image shows the structure of the Omicron spike protein – the part of the virus that allows the viruses to penetrate host cells and cause infection (and which a vaccine targets) – alongside the spike protein of the Delta variant, illustrating a much higher rate of mutation with 43, compared to only 18 for the Delta variant.
Scientists across the globe have been attempting to obtain any new information about the Omicron strain ever since the World Health Organization identified it on Friday as a variant “of concern,” leading to widespread international alarm although experts have not yet determined either how severe or how transmissible it is.
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