(Hill) – A virologist who helped identify the omicron variant of the coronavirus said this week that it is “more like Frankenstein” than previous variants.
“This is probably the most mutated virus we’ve ever seen,” said Alex Sigal, who heads a team of researchers working to learn more about the new variant, according to CBS News. “It is always something new. I mean, the virus continues to surprise us.”
Omicron has more than 50 mutations, which are reported to enhance its ability to infect humans.
According to CBS News, Sigal’s team is currently working with other scientists to determine the transmissibility of the variant, as well as its effect on people who have been vaccinated.
Sigal said he is confident that the currently available COVID-19 vaccine will protect against hospitalizations and severe illness with omicrons, although effectiveness against it has yet to be thoroughly tested.
He also warned that low vaccination rates in Africa could lead to continued mutations in the virus, CBS News reported.
The omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa and has since found in neighboring countries as well as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Germany and Belgium.
Source link Scientist who helped identify omicrons: ‘It’s more like a Frankenstein than others’