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Omicron is spreading in many parts of the world and could soon outperform previously known variables, such as the killer delta variant. As all these variables continue to spread, some have raised fears of a “double infection”, with people simultaneously infecting delta and omicron. Creating conditions for the emergence of a new hybrid variant (a more dangerous variable).
But are these fears genuine?
Speaking to IFLScience, one expert explained that a double infection could lead to a hybrid variant – it has happened before with SARS-Cove-2. But is unlikely to lead to a more severe virus.
The matter was first reported by modern’s chief medical officer. Dr Paul Burton while speaking to MPs on UK science. And technology committee on December 14th.
When the significant number of cases remained recorded in the united kingdom, burton confirmed evidence from South Africa. Where omicron remained first identified. As people with immunodeficiency remained found to be at risk of both variants.
Burton commented: “in the UK, this will be possible. Especially if we look at the number of injuries.” it indeed allows both viruses to start sharing. And swapping genes (genetic resynthesis).
Genetic resynthesis of Omicron
Genetic resynthesis is the exchange of genetic material between viruses (or even more complex organisms). In theory, if a person remains infected with both variables, viruses can infect the same cell. Providing them with the perfect opportunity to mix and match genetic material. Leading to a hybrid strain carrying genetic material from both variables.
These concerns are still hypothetical at the moment, but it’s something burton thinks should be taken into account. “it’s imperative to think about omicron biology,” Burton said.
There is some evidence that sars-cove-2 has undergone a re-installation, leading to the emergence of covid-19 with cold.
The new scientist reported in February 2021 that a team of scientists found evidence that the alpha variant shared genetic material with the epsilon variant to produce a hybrid variant. However, this mixed variable. Which resulted from the re-installation, has not become a substantial variable.
Predictions and Researches of Omicron
Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist and lecturer of molecular oncology at the school of medicine, University of Warwick, said: “there have been previous reports of a common infection of two different sars-cove-2 strains, but this event is rare. One breed often outperforms the other. for example, alpha’s joint injury with delta has changed to a single injury from the prevailing delta variable.”
“There is no clear evidence that a common infection can affect symptoms of the disease or respond to treatment.” So far, you don’t have to worry. Even if the risk of double injuries and hybrid variants may seem scary.
“With the sars-cove-2 transmission in the community and the widespread of delta and omicron infections, recombination can occur in a person with the double infection. But for the virus to become effective and spread, this recombination must increase the virus’s ability to infect and reproduce,” young said.
Let’s look at the mobility of the omicron variant and the number of mutations in spinal protein and other areas. The recombination process cannot produce a more dangerous virus.