Why is Omicron spreading faster than other variants?
In a new study by a team from the University of Hong Kong, the mutated variant of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) Omicron was found to replicate approximately 70 times faster than the original virus and the Delta variant in tissue samples taken from the bronchi, the main tube from the windpipe to the lungs. .
According to the news of The Guardian newspaper, the team in question examined tissue samples taken from some patients with Omikron and Delta variants for 24 hours and found that Omikron multiplied approximately 70 times more than Delta.
While the bronchi are not the upper respiratory tract, the scientists said this could cause the virus to multiply very quickly and spread infections more easily.
But the new variant grows 10 times slower in lung tissue, which may be an indication of decreased disease severity, the researchers said.
Michael Chan Chi-wai, who led the study, said, “The result should be interpreted with caution. “Severe disease is determined not only by how fast the virus multiplies, but also by a person’s immune response, and especially by whether the immune system is functioning.”
On the other hand, Rochelle Walensky, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement yesterday that, according to preliminary data, Omikron is more contagious than Delta.
Walensky, in a statement at the White House, stated that the authorities began to monitor the increase in cases among those staying in nursing homes, adding that the rate of cases was ten times lower among those who received the full vaccine and those who received booster doses.