Tag Archives: pandemic

Omicron FAQ: How is it different from other variants? Is it a ‘super-variant?’ Can it evade vaccines? How transmissible is it?

The Omicron variant has been confirmed in all continents except Antarctica. (Pixabay/Canva) Dasantila Golemi-Kotra, York University, Canada Omicron, the first COVID-19 variant to have been upgraded to a variant of concern (VOC) by the World Health Organization (WHO) in a matter of days, came on the radar of the Lancet Laboratory in South Africa, on Nov. 8, although it is …

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COVID-19 vaccine inequity allowed Omicron to emerge

While people in the wealthy West have had preferred access to multiple rounds of vaccines, vast numbers of people, especially in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent, haven’t received a single dose. (Pixabay/Canva) Dawn ME Bowdish, McMaster University and Chandrima Chakraborty, McMaster University Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is 76 per cent — 10 times higher than it is across the …

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COVID: how the disease moves through the air

Alexander Limbach/shutterstock Lena Ciric, UCL; Abigail Hathway, University of Sheffield; Benjamin Jones, University of Nottingham, and Chris Iddon, University of Nottingham Masks have been a common sight all over the world since SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, invaded our lives. We set out to investigate if they work. Our goal was to find out how the virus travels through the air …

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Will omicron – the new coronavirus variant of concern – be more contagious than delta? A virus evolution expert explains what researchers know and what they don’t

The omicron variant possesses numerous mutations in the spike protein, the knob-like protrusions (in red) that allow the virus to invade other cells. Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images Suresh V. Kuchipudi, Penn State A new variant named omicron (B.1.1.529) was reported by researchers in South Africa on Nov. 24, 2021, and designated a “variant of concern” by the …

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The hunt for coronavirus variants: how the new one was found and what we know so far

Scientists find variants by sequencing samples from people that have tested positive for the virus. Lightspring/Shutterstock Prof. Wolfgang Preiser, Stellenbosch University; Cathrine Scheepers, University of the Witwatersrand; Jinal Bhiman, National Institute for Communicable Diseases; Marietjie Venter, University of Pretoria, and Tulio de Oliveira, University of KwaZulu-Natal Since early in the COVID pandemic, the Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa …

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Merck v Pfizer: here’s how the two new COVID antiviral drugs work and will be used

Nina Drozdowa/Shutterstock Alexander Edwards, University of Reading We’ve waited 20 months for a medicine to blunt the coronavirus, and now two have appeared. Earlier this month, the UK medicines regulator approved molnupiravir, the COVID antiviral developed by Merck and Ridgeback Therapeutics. Among adults with mild to moderate COVID who were at risk of developing serious disease, it cut the chances …

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Hybrid working: how to make it a success

A pre-pandemic London commute. Shutterstock/Lance Bellers Daniel Wheatley, University of Birmingham Flexibility has become a key element in the world of work. Even before the pandemic hit, many jobs were designed to provide greater choice about how, when and where they could be done. Now the notion of “hybrid working”, which combines time working from home and time in physical …

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How will the COVID pandemic end?

Paul Hunter, University of East Anglia After over 18 months of this pandemic, with the social distancing, mask wearing and on-off lockdowns, what we all want to know more than anything else is when it will all be over and how it will end. While nothing is certain, we have a lot of evidence on which to build some realistic …

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