How Omicron Variant Rattled the World in One Week

How Omicron Variant Rattled the World in One Week

The Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2021

The speedy detection and the rapid response of global health authorities shows how the world’s fight against COVID-19 has evolved. Scientists are now focused on finding new variants. In the case of Omicron, one was beginning to spread in South Africa, a nation with the resources to identify it—and the political will to announce it to the world. Experiments using infectious virus or that tease out the effect of individual mutations on its behavior will take more time, but research that looks at the interactions between Omicron’s mutant spike and antibodies should yield some answers on the immune evasion question in as little as a week, said Vineet Menachery, a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch.