Omicron: How the Covid virus mutates and creates new variants – a virologist explains

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Digital generated image of macro view of the corona virus from the 2020.
Digital generated image of macro view of the corona virus from the 2020.
Andriy Onufriyenko

The recently discovered Omicron variant of concern (VoC) has scientists around the world concerned. But its emergence had not been totally unexpected. 

During the Covid pandemic, experts have often explained that it's within the nature of viruses to mutate constantly and give rise to new variants. While some variants will fade away, others will gain an evolutionary advantage and become potential threats, such as Omicron. 

And, for several months, scientists have put the spotlight on cases where there have been chronic Covid-19 infections in immunocompromised people. Because of their weakened immune systems, the virus is given the opportunity to mutate rapidly, and, as a result, lead to new variants. 

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