NewsOmikron has been in Europe longer than expected -...

Omikron has been in Europe longer than expected – researchers are discovering traces in older samples

Does the Coronavirus variant Omikron actually come from South Africa? Researchers in the Netherlands have discovered traces of omicron in samples that are older than the known cases.

The Hague – The new Coronavirus variant Omikron has apparently been in Europe longer than initially assumed. As the Dutch Institute for Public Health (RIVM) announced on Tuesday, the variant was detected in two test samples dated November 19 and 23. This puts them well ahead of the first positive Omikron cases that were detected in people returning from South Africa at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

In South Africa, researchers officially informed on November 24th about a new Coronavirus variant Omikron with the scientific name B.1.1.529. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection came from a sample taken on November 9th.

  • South Africa officially reported on the new coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 on November 24, 2021. At that time, there were already the first cases of infection in Hong Kong
  • WHO classified the coronavirus variant on November 26, 2021 as “worrying” and gave it the name Omikron.
  • About 50 mutations were found in Omikron, including 30 changes in the spike protein.

Shortly after the first reports of Omikron cases in South Africa, cases of infection were found in Hong Kong and numerous countries – including Germany.

The Dutch authorities had previously assumed that 14 travelers from South Africa were the first to be infected with the Omikron variant. They arrived at Schiphol Airport on November 26th in two planes from South Africa. Now researchers have discovered traces of omicron in older samples. It is still unclear whether the infected people tested on November 19 and 23 were also in southern Africa, said the RIVM. Those affected had been informed and the authorities followed up their contacts.

VOC Concerning Coronavirus variant scientific name detected for the first time
Omicron B.1.1.529 According to the WHO, it was first taken from a sample on November 9th.

The institute also announced an investigation to determine how far the Omikron variant has already spread in the Netherlands. Further samples from previous corona tests are to be re-examined for this purpose.

Corona variant Omikron: WHO classifies mutants as “very high” risk

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies the new Coronavirus variant Omikron as “worrying” * and warns of a “very high” global risk. Omicron cases have been identified in many countries since the discovery in South Africa. Much is still unclear about the Omikron variant. Statistics from South Africa indicate that the Omikron variant is significantly more contagious than previous variants. Little is known about the symptoms and the course of an omicron infection. The South African doctor Dr. Angelique Coetzee reports mild and completely different symptoms in her first patients. But the number of infections is rising sharply in South Africa. Corona researchers around the world are trying to find out more about the new coronavirus variation. Vaccine manufacturer Biontech and Moderna are working flat out to find out whether the current vaccine needs to be adjusted. (afp / ml) * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA

List of rubric lists: © Julian Stratenschulte / dpa

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