There Are Some COVID-19 Variants You Haven’t Heard Of

(NewsNation Now) – Breaking news omicron variation from southern Africa The market has tumbled and governments are scrambling to cut tourism. Scientists, including Dr Anthony Fauci, say the omicron has up to 30 mutations on its mutant protein, which could affect immunity against it.

However, if you know your Greek alphabet, you might think, “I haven’t heard a single iota of the kappa variant, or the xi variant, or about eight other variations that have had the word delta.”

While not every of the thousands of COVID-19 variants has a Greek letter, the list of them has piled up to omicrons, the 15th symbol on the Greek alphabet. Alpha, beta, gamma delta and omicron are now labeled as “variants of concern”, the highest warning level from the World Health Organization. There are two other ranking stages below that: “variant interested” and “variant watching”.

Here’s what we know about variations other than Greek letters, and why you probably don’t know much about them.

Greek alphabet and symbols (Getty Images)
Variant Epsilon

The epsilon variant was the first strain originating in the United States to be stamped “variant of interest” by the WHO. It was first detected in California and in January 2021 it accounts for almost a third of cases in a statewide study. It is unclear whether the variant causes more severe disease, although there are scattered reports that it causes reinfection in some patients.

But it may have run into a delta wall. Although it was discovered outside of the state, it never took off internationally. The World Health Organization no longer tracks it as of July 6.

Variant Zeta

This variant caused some alarm when it was first discovered to be the fuel behind the outbreak in Brazil in April 2020. It was later called variant P.2. It was classified as a variant of concern on 17 March, but was removed from the WHO surveillance list on 17 August.

Variation Eta

Similar to zeta, the eta variant has never been on WHO’s list of variants of concern. It has been reported in at least two dozen countries, but has never been blamed for any outbreak. As of September 20, however, WHO continues to list it as a variant being monitored.

Variation Iota

Another variant that was first found in the US, iota is believed to be part of the rise of COVID-19 in New York in the winter of 2020-21. In one research in advance Not yet peer-reviewed, the researchers found this variant “essentially increases the risk of infection-fatality (IFR) in adults 65 years and older by >60% between November 2020 to April 2021, compared with the estimated baseline risk for pre-existing variants.”

Iota was only listed as a variant of interest and was demoted to the WHO variant on the surveillance list on September 20.

Kappa Variations

Like the delta variant, kappa was first discovered in India. At the end of May 2021, just six months after it was found, it was spread to 41 countries. The WHO labeled it a variant of concern in April, but moved it down to a variant being monitored in September. An Oxford study found vaccines by AstraZeneca and Pfizer to be effective against it, and Moderna published a small study showing that their vaccine was also effective against it.

lambda variant

Lambda is one of only two variants that WHO still lists as a variant of concern. It was first discovered in Peru in December 2020 and as of August this year fear it might evade protection from vaccines or natural infections.

However, like many of the variants on this list, it is likely to hit an evolutionary wall as the delta variant spreads globally and declares itself a vulnerable population.

The lambda variant’s ability to escape vaccine protection has never been confirmed beyond the early literature, and the disease’s symptoms have not been shown to be worse than other variants.

Variation Mu

Mu is the last variant to have the Greek letter before omicron. Often mentioned in the same span as lambda, mu is another variant that WHO is still labeling a variant of interest.

Indeed, you may remember mu hitting the headlines in early September as the country was grappling with a third wave of the pandemic. The headlines have called it the doomsday variant that can leave plains after it wakes up. Almost three months later, that hasn’t happened.

The alarm was raised because it steadily increased its presence in America over the summer, but, according to WebMD, it takes some time when delta takes off.

After being discovered in Colombia in January, mu was designated a variant of interest on August 30, still its current designation.

Nu and Xi . Variations

The Greek alphabet experts have no doubt as to why this list stops short of the two letters that stand for omicron. That’s because WHO ignored them and went straight to the 15th letter. The spellings of the letters provide an explanation.

The letter nu is pronounced nee, which can lead to confusion when people read it spelled one way but hear it spoken another way. Even when it’s pronounced the way it is spelled, a WHO spokesperson told NewsNation it sounds too similar to the word “new” and can be confusing.

Meanwhile, xi is a common name, including the president of China, Xi Jinping.

A WHO spokesperson said in an email to NewsNation: “WHO best practices for disease naming suggest avoiding ‘offending offending any cultural, social, national, regional, occupational group’ occupation or ethnicity’. There Are Some COVID-19 Variants You Haven’t Heard Of

Dais Johnston

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