Omicron: 5 things Dr Fauci says about this new variant of Covid-19

There is no indication that new Covid variant Omicron is present in the United States, but anything is possible, Dr Anthony Fauci said. 
Dr Anthony Fauci said there is no indication that Omicron has spread to the United States but anything is possible. (Reuters)
Dr Anthony Fauci said there is no indication that Omicron has spread to the United States but anything is possible. (Reuters)
Published on Nov 27, 2021 08:23 PM IST
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By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Scientists of the United States are actively communicating with their colleagues in South Africa to get more details about Omicron, the new variant of Covid-19, America's top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said. Reports of the new variant have triggered panic and brought back fresh restrictions across the world. The variant is heavily mutated and is thought to be more transmissible than the previous variants.

Here are five things that the White House chief medical advisor said about the Omicron in an interview with CNN. Fauci was asked about the concerns regarding Omcron and whether there is any chance that it has already spread to the United States. 

1. There are concerns over more transmissibility and the possibility of the evasion of the immune response. We do not know for sure right now. This is really something in motion.

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2. The variant seems to be spreading at a reasonably rapid rate in the sense of when they do test positivity, it seems to be a bit more widespread than what was previously thought. It is in a fluid motion.

3. Anything is possible. There is no indication that the new variant is present in the United States. There is a lot of travel involved in how the variant spread from South Africa to Hong Kong. And so, we are trying to get the actual molecular make-up of the variant so that we can test for it. And that's something that will take time.

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4. When you look at a mutation, it is going to give you a hint or prediction that it might evade the immune response. You need to get that particular sequence of the virus, put it in a form in the lab where you can actually test the different antibodies so you can have a prediction that it might evade or you can actually prove it. Right now, we are getting the material together.

5. You are talking about sort of like a red flag that it might be an issue but we don't know. Once we test, you can tell for sure whether it does or does not evade the antibodies that we make for example against the virus through a vaccine.

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