Readers are curious about the new variant, currently known a BA.2.86. Also: Lots of questions about boosters. Can you get it at the same time as a flu shot? And how long does protection last?
SARS-CoV-2 is evolving "rapidly," spawning one new variant after another. But omicron continues to dominate, raising new questions about how evolution of the virus is headed.
The Food and Drug Administration earlier this week authorized the updated Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots. The endorsement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came Thursday, hours after advisers to the CDC voted to recommend reformulated versions of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines.
Wednesday on Political Rewind: Dr. Carlos Del Rio, Dr. Amber Schmidtke, and GPB's own Ellen Eldridge joined the panel for a conversation on the most pressing questions about Covid-19 at the current stage of the pandemic. Who should get another booster? When should you be wearing masks? What lessons can the past two years teach us about public health?
Researchers in South Africa have found that people infected with omicron, on average, are less likely to end up in the hospital. But the variant may act differently here in the U.S.
In small studies in South Africa and in Germany, the results indicate a marked decrease in the ability of vaccines to neutralize this variant. But there are other findings that are encouraging.
How did this new strain of the coronavirus evolve? Researchers are investigating various possibilities. One leading theory involves ... just one person.
There's serious concern about the effectiveness of vaccines against the omicron strain. But there's also reason to be hopeful — especially for those who've had a booster.
The variant accounts for more than 6% of all infections in the U.S. and in some Western states is responsible for more than 18% of cases.
Mounting COVID-19 travel restrictions are meant to contain the Indian variant. But citizens and visitors alike are feeling frustrated.
The term is a reference to two particular mutations in SARS-CoV-2. But the variant in India could carry additional mutations.
Hundreds of cases of COVID-19 variants first seen in the United Kingdom have been found in Georgia. Additionally, the state has confirmed variants from South Africa and Brazil.
SARS-CoV-2 variants are in the United States and Georgia's health department reports at least six cases of the recent variant that appears more transmissible. An infectious disease expert with Emory University says wearing masks will help.
"We have within our own personal responsibility, we have the tools to be able to minimize transmission and eliminate it," Dr. Colleen Kraft said.
The variant in Brazil is causing a surge in Manaus, a city where the virus previously infected huge numbers in the spring of 2020. Researchers are trying to determine why.
The virus variant is "significantly more contagious" than the SARS-CoV-2 virus, state health officials say. So far, there is no evidence that the B.1.1.7 variant causes more severe illness or increased risk of death.