COVID: This is what the Omicron variant looks like

In an effort to find out more about the new variant of concern, specialists have created the very first image of the Omicron variant and this is what it looks like.

Omicron variant
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Omicron variant

Since 2019, the coronavirus has managed to mutate into numerous strains and variants—some that are more transmissible and deadly than others. The latest, which was classified as a variant of concern, is the Omicron variant. It was first identified by scientists in South Africa but has since been reported in countries all around the world, including the United Kingdom.

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First image

Given its recent discovery, scientists are now scrambling to find out more about this unknown variant in order to avoid another catastrophic wave from taking place. In fact, specialists at the Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome have managed to create a three-dimensional image of this variant to depict how it is different from the Delta variant—the deadliest COVID mutation so far.

The image, which was tweeted out by Italian news service Agenzia ANSA, shows the Delta and the Omicron variant side by side, and the difference between the two is quite significant.

According to the researchers, the Omicron variant has ‘many more mutations than the Delta variant, which already has a considerable amount of mutation in itself. Moreover, these mutations are found in an area of the protein that interacts with human cells—this could potentially make it more complex and hence more difficult to read.

A dangerous variant?

This, however, doesn’t entirely indicate that it's a more dangerous variant. The researchers said in a statement:

We can clearly see that the omicron variant presents many more mutations than the delta variant, concentrated above all in one area of the protein that interacts with human cells.
This does not automatically mean that these variations are more dangerous, simply that the virus has further adapted to the human species by generating another variant.

They added that further studies will be needed to figure out whether its ability to adapt is 'less or more dangerous.'

COVID: Reinfection by Omicron variant more likely, study finds COVID: Reinfection by Omicron variant more likely, study finds