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WHO Calls New Strain a Variant of Concern, Names It Omicron (1)

Nov. 26, 2021, 7:00 PM

The World Health Organization said that a strain of coronavirus recently discovered by South African researchers is a variant of concern, posing a threat that could confound countries’ efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The WHO assigned the Greek letter omicron to the variant, which had been known as B.1.1.529, following a meeting by a panel of experts Friday.

Scientists say the variant carries a high number of mutations in its spike protein, which plays a key role in the virus’s entry into cells in the body. It’s also what is targeted by vaccines, so if the protein changes ...

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