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Next Covid-19 Strain May Be More Dangerous, Says New Study

By: Lifestyle Desk

Local News Desk

Last Updated: November 29, 2022, 15:45 IST

Delhi, India

This lab study was done using Covid samples from an immunosuppressed person.

This lab study was done using Covid samples from an immunosuppressed person.

The study has been conducted by researchers from Africa Health Research Institute, Durban, South Africa, the same institute that first tested the Omicron strain against available vaccines.

While China is experiencing a sudden surge in COVID cases, the rest of the world is comparatively doing better with the current Omicron strain in retreat mode. Omicron was also considered to be less dangerous than the devastating variants during the first and second waves. However, our concerns may be far from over as a new lab report says that the next COVID-19 variant may be way more dangerous than the Omicron strain.

This study has been conducted by researchers from Africa Health Research Institute, Durban, South Africa, the same institute that first tested the Omicron strain against available vaccines. The laboratory found that the virus is evolving to become more pathogenic, indicating greater danger from an upcoming variant.

This lab study was done using Covid samples from an immunosuppressed person. Over the six months, the virus initially caused the same level of cell fusion and death as the omicron BA.1 strain, but as it evolved, those levels rose to become similar to the first version of Covid-19 identified in Wuhan in China.

According to the study’s principal investigator, Alex Sigal, all Kovid variations may pose a greater risk to immunocompromised patients with HIV or other serious illnesses. Such individuals have a very long time to recuperate from Covid.

Scientists have earlier proposed that southern Africa was where variations like beta and omicron were first discovered. Alex has said that the mutation of the virus may cause severe illness and more death than the Omicron variant, which is relatively mild. Since the current study only included one person as a sample, it has not yet been peer-reviewed.

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first published:November 29, 2022, 15:45 IST
last updated:November 29, 2022, 15:45 IST
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