Thu. Jun 13th, 2024
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Rupert Beale, in the LRB, says if the Omicron mutation appears to be ‘milder’ than other variants we’ve seen so far – that’s usually because of partial immunity in previously infected or vaccinated individuals. Right now we have no way of knowing if infection rates will be lower than expected, or higher. But there is no reason to believe, at this juncture, that this variant will be any less lethal to the unvaccinated population.

Moreover, there are some potentially important mutations to parts of the virus other than Spike. Rapid testing targets a protein in the virus that’s more abundant than Spike and less variable. So while it is possible such tests will maintain their sensitivity – that hasn’t yet been quantified and it’s possible that one or more proprietary devices may not detect Omicron. This is a good reason, Beale says, to prefer PCR tests for travellers just now. More HERE

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