Caixin
Jan 21, 2022 05:29 PM
CHINA

Caixin Explains: Why Omicron Is Taking Over the World

In this photo illustration, a person wearing gloves holds test sample tubes labeled
In this photo illustration, a person wearing gloves holds test sample tubes labeled "COVID-19 Omicron variant" in front of a display on Dec. 22, 2021, in Guwahati, India. Photo: VCG

Two years into the pandemic, humanity has been racing against the fast-evolving virus as a number of variants have emerged, prevailed and added complexity to an unprecedented battle.

The rise of the omicron variant is making the fight against Covid-19 more challenging because it has shown much higher infectiousness than any previous variant. 

One reason omicron caused panic is its sheer number of mutations: Omicron has 32 changes to the coronavirus’ spike protein, allowing the pathogen to penetrate human cells and cause infection, compared with 16 mutations in the delta variant.

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