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
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.
Thousands of physicians throughout the U.S. rely daily on the critical data provided to them by medical labs.
xavierarnau/E+ via Getty Images
The health care system is hemorrhaging medical lab workers, in part because of COVID-19 infections and also because of burnout, low wages and better opportunities elsewhere.
Daisy-Daisy / Alamy Stock Photo
Are economic drivers the reason for the reduced isolation period in the UK?
To discover your risk of catching coronavirus for any given situation, try our COVID-19 Aerosol Transmission Estimator.
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.
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
A nationwide genomic surveillance system analyzes positive COVID-19 tests to build a picture of which variants are spreading in the population.
Free rapid antigen tests makes public health sense and economic sense.
SARS-CoV-2 cannot improve indefinitely.
Sequencing the genome of a virus gives researchers information on how mutations can affect its transmissibility and virulence.
catalinr/iStock via Getty Images Plus
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
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)
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 reporting a spike in COVID-19 cases.
EMMANUEL CROSET/AFP via Getty Images
Early data show that Omicron is dominating new COVID-19 cases in Gauteng province.
South Africa is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases.
EMMANUEL CROSET/AFP via Getty Images
At this stage, we cannot say anything about the severity of cases with Omicron - either in primary or reinfections.
The key to rapid antigen testing is to test early in the course of COVID-19 infection, ideally several times 24 hours apart.
VioletaStoimenova/E+ via Getty Images
Knowing when and how often to use rapid tests is key to getting an accurate picture of your COVID-19 status.
A researcher works with COVID-19 samples from patients.
Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images
Careful lab work will complement public health data as researchers worldwide focus on omicron, asking questions about contagiousness, severity of disease and whether vaccines hold up against it.
It’s worth having a conversation with family and friends to set some rules to minimise the risk of COVID transmission.
Vaccines are our best chance of overcoming this pandemic.
Xabiso Mkhabela/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Efforts to improve vaccine uptake must be tailored to the needs and concerns of the individuals and families who make up society.
People Image Studio/Shutterstock
How we should manage uncertainty is not a scientific issue but an ethical issue.
A virus’s genes hold a record of where it’s traveled, and when.
imaginima/E+ via Getty Images
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
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.