Preliminary data about omicron suggests the variant became widespread across southern Africa in a very short period of time. Scientists say its many mutations may play a role in its transmissibility.
The newly identified strain of the coronavirus, which could be more transmissible than the previously dominant delta variant, has global health officials worried about a possible new surge in cases.
The World Health Organization deemed it a variant of concern, and the U.S. is banning travel from parts of Africa where it's spreading. Here's what scientists know and what they're trying to learn.
Stock markets around the world tumbled on concerns about the new variant. While it's too soon to tell exactly how the variant functions, virologists are rushing to learn more.
Cases of the variant have popped up in several states. But neither the WHO nor the CDC considers it a variant of concern, and the fast-spreading delta variant continues to dominate U.S. cases.
More contagious than other variants, and maybe more likely to cause severe disease, Delta is spreading so fast in the U.S. it could cause another surge this summer or fall, according to new research.
This animated video uses puzzle pieces to show how a coronavirus binds to a cell's surface — and what happens when a mutation occurs.
If you imagine viruses as pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, that can help explain what happens when a coronavirus variant comes into contact with human cells.
With a more contagious variant now dominant in the U.S., the country's genomic surveillance capacity is getting a major boost.
The variant known as B.1.1.7, which is more easily spread, was first identified in England last fall. Since then, it has spread quickly in the U.S.
Despite the progress in vaccinating Americans, there's concern about the threat posed by COVID-19 variants. The White House is urging not to "let down our guard."
Much of the blame for Brazil's coronavirus disaster lies with Jair Bolsonaro, who has enabled a domestic tragedy that now threatens the world, says analyst Robert Muggah.
Scientists are spotting new coronavirus variants almost on a daily basis. So far public health experts are still most worried about three important ones.