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Articles on SARS-CoV-2

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The list of SARS-CoV-2 variants – each with its own unique qualities that give it an edge – just keeps growing. Matt Anderson Photography/Moment via Getty Images

Alpha then delta and now omicron – 6 questions answered as COVID-19 cases once again surge across the globe

People are buzzing with questions about the omicron variant and whether it could help usher in herd immunity. A team of virologists deciphers the latest findings.
The best way to stop new variants from arising is to increase the proportion of vaccinated individuals while maintaining infection prevention measures like wearing masks and social distancing. (Shutterstock)

Omicron: Vaccines remain the best defence against this COVID-19 variant and others

Even with a variant like Omicron that may be more transmissible than earlier variants, vaccines remain the most effective tool for protection against COVID-19 and for ending the pandemic.
A positive COVID-19 test is the first step in the process. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

From delta to omicron, here’s how scientists know which coronavirus variants are circulating in the US

A nationwide genomic surveillance system analyzes positive COVID-19 tests to build a picture of which variants are spreading in the population.
Sequencing the genome of a virus gives researchers information on how mutations can affect its transmissibility and virulence. catalinr/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Genomic sequencing: Here’s how researchers identify omicron and other COVID-19 variants

DNA sequencing has allowed researchers to catch new COVID-19 variants hours after receiving the first positive test sample.
Nearly 50,000 Americans kill themselves every year, leaving behind millions of family members and friends. svetikd/E+ via Getty Images

How to help those who have lost loved ones to suicide cope with grief during the holidays

Nearly all suicide-loss survivors experience guilt, wondering what they could have done to prevent it. But despite decades of research, experts struggle to identify risk factors and predict suicide.
Rapid antigen tests are easy to use and detect whether your body is shedding the SARS-CoV-2 virus. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov) 

How to use rapid testing to keep you and your family safe during the 2021 holiday season

Rapid testing for COVID-19 is an extra safety measure that can help prevent spread of infection, and help you have a more normal holiday, especially if you are visiting vulnerable people.
South Africa is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases. EMMANUEL CROSET/AFP via Getty Images

Omicron: evidence shows it evades immunity from earlier infection more than other variants

At this stage, we cannot say anything about the severity of cases with Omicron - either in primary or reinfections.
A virus’s genes hold a record of where it’s traveled, and when. imaginima/E+ via Getty Images

Charting changes in a pathogen’s genome yields clues about its past and hints about its future

After a nose swab tests positive for a virus or bacteria, scientists can use the sample’s genetic sequence to figure out where and when the pathogen emerged and how fast it’s changing.
The omicron variant possesses numerous mutations in the spike protein, the knob-like protrusions (in red) that allow the virus to invade other cells. Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Will omicron – the new coronavirus variant of concern – be more contagious than delta? A virus evolution expert explains what researchers know and what they don’t

It’s too early to say whether the newly identified omicron variant is going to overtake delta. But particular mutations in the new strain have researchers deeply concerned.

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