Virologist Altstein: weak symptoms of the omicron strain speaks of the degeneration of the virus symptoms accompanying infection with the omicron strain of coronavirus. In an interview with Lenta.ru, he said that so far there is little information about this strain, but it can already be assumed that the new variation of COVID-19 will not lead to serious consequences for humanity, since weak symptoms indicate the degeneration of the virus.
The ugliest variation
The Omicron strain is characterized by a large number of mutations in the gene encoding the S-protein, the scientist said. “There are 32 mutations, that is, 32 amino acids, thus, have been replaced. The result is a significant difference from previous versions, “Altstein explained.
He said that so far there is little information about the omicron strain, but from the data that is already available, it can be assumed that this is the most “fearless” variation of the coronavirus. “The information that is now available about the omicron does not at all indicate that it is some kind of terrible virus. All people who had this omicron had a mild infection, the disease proceeded easily with rather minor symptoms: fatigue and low fever. I think that as we learn about the omicron, the list of these symptoms will expand, but the first impression about this virus is that it does not look like some kind of terrible pathogen that strongly threatens us, “said the chief researcher of the Gamaleya Research Center .
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The fact that the omicron has 32 mutations in the S-protein may be an indicator of genetic instability, the scientist concluded. “The virus has a system that monitors and mitigates the mutability of the virus. If this system is damaged, then the virus becomes unstable, and at a high level it will not be able to exist for a long time, “Altstein shared.
So far, scientists cannot categorically declare that the virus is degenerating, he stressed. However, there is too much data to support this theory, Altstein explained. “In Japan, interesting information was recently received by a famous scientist, professor at the National Institute of Genetics Ituro Inoue. He investigated the sequence of varieties of coronavirus in the fall phase of the epidemic. When she went down, the strains he studied gave much more mutations than on the ascent. This suggests that genetic instability can grow during an epidemic, and this will work against the virus. This means that the virus begins to multiply worse, it no longer needs to maintain the property of causing serious illness. He becomes weaker and softer, but can survive well. Such a scenario cannot be ruled out. It seems to me that this is a fairly likely outcome, “the Russian scientist explained.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to prepare an updated action plan in a week in connection with the emergence of a new strain of coronavirus. According to the head of state, it is necessary to maintain an increased readiness of the healthcare system, including supplies of drugs, oxygen, reserve beds and the most effective treatment protocols for the disease.