Omicrons are more likely to be transmitted because they share genetic material with the common cold

People who sit or stand with luggage at the airport

People who sit or stand with luggage at the airport

Researchers in Cambridge, Massachusetts may have evolved the Omicron variant from a cold-related virus. Said in a preliminary survey released on Friday, This suggests that the variant may be much more contagious than previously thought.

Biomedical company Nference has released data revealing that Omicron shares a genetic material similar to the human coronavirus HCoV-229E, which causes common cold symptoms. Researchers believe that Omicron evolved from individuals who were “co-infected” with Sars-CoV-2 and HCoV-229E.

The authors of the study found viruses in both gastrointestinal and respiratory tissues of infected individuals. They wrote that “genome interactions,” or exchanges of genetic material, could lead to the emergence of omicrons. Other Sars-coV-2 variants do not carry the same genetic material as HCoV-229E.

Nference also compared Omicron’s genetic material with other Sars-CoV-2 mutants, including the highly contagious and predominant delta mutant. They found that Omicron hosted 26 mutations that differed from the mutants.

Omicron first appeared in South Africa on November 24th and has spread to more than 20 countries on six continents, including the United States, in about a week.

This variant has not yet been declared deadly or contagious by the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but its spread is much faster than Delta, making it a global and public health expert. I’m surprised. The United States is one of many countries that restrict travel from multiple countries in southern Africa.

South Africa, which was calming before Omicron was detected Cases of Thanksgiving surged from about 2,000 per day to over 11,000 per day On thursday.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Said at a press conference on Wednesday The deadline and transmissibility of Omicron and the ability of the vaccine to fight it are still unknown.

“We will get that information,” he added. “I’m going to get more information.”