New variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, arise through mutations when the virus replicates in an infected host’s cells.
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COVID-19 variants are the products of the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They arise via mutations, but other forces also have roles to play in the generation and transmission of variants.
Immunologists are studying how the SARS-CoV-2 virus interacts with antibodies in the immune system.
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COVID-19 has taken away so much. An immunology researcher describes the good it may leave behind.
Vaccination rates in South Africa are sub-optimal.
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South Africa is still likely to experience periods of increased cases, smaller-scale outbreaks and even the development of new variants.
It’s easy to avoid common pitfalls when taking rapid antigen tests. Here are a few to watch out for.
As the pandemic winds down, continual surveillance of wild animals is vital to ensure that it doesn’t switch to another sphere of life.
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A growing body of research shows that COVID-19 protocols should be extended to areas in which there is a human-animal interface such as zoos, wildlife sanctuaries and game farms.
Blood donations have dropped at the same time that the need for blood is soaring.
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Life-saving blood is needed for everything from treating cancers and chronic conditions to helping trauma victims. But blood donations have dropped to crisis levels during the pandemic.
Cases of the Omicron sub-variant BA.2 are now in Australia. While there’s no evidence it causes more severe disease than the original Omicron, early research suggests it’s more transmissible.
Endemic doesn’t mean we drop our guard, surrender to the virus or downgrade the threat the virus poses to individuals and the community.
Preliminary research suggests that the omicron variant may potentially induce a robust immune response.
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Some of the omicron variant’s unique properties – such as its ability to spread rapidly while causing milder COVID-19 infections – could usher in a new phase of the pandemic.
Wishing won’t be enough to make the pandemic history.
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None of our authors can see the future, but many do have expertise that offers insights about what’s reasonable to expect.
The list of SARS-CoV-2 variants – each with its own unique qualities that give it an edge – just keeps growing.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.