BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — A new variant of the coronavirus has emerged and has health officials around the world concerned due to how rapidly it might spread.
A new COVID variant has emerged that has the World Health Organization and Dr. Anthony Fauci concerned.
”It has emerged in South Africa and seems to be spreading at a reasonably rapid rate in the sense of when they do test positive, they’re seeing that it’s a bit more widespread in South Africa than was originally felt a couple of days ago,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor.
The new variant is now named Omicron.
“The big news about the omicron variant is that it has a lot of mutations to the spike protein,” said Dr. Jason McKnight, Texas A&M population health expert.
To put that into perspective the delta variant had two mutations. Healthy exerts say omicron has thirty.
Dr. Jason Mcknight with Texas A&M says his biggest concern is how the Omicron variant will impact vaccination efforts.
“We definitely have to pay attention to how this is going to play out in terms of vaccine resistance as that would obviously be you know something very serious,” added Dr. McKnight.
Pharmaceutical companies are already working on vaccines for the new variant
Meanwhile, President Biden is announcing traveling restrictions for South Africa and seven other African countries.