COVID-19: Why are there so many new Omicron sub-variants?

Omicron variant of coronavirus is mutating continuously, producing new sub-variants Image: Unsplash/Fusion Medical Animation

Sebastian Duchene

Australian Research Council DECRA fellow, Peter Doherty Institute (University of Melbourne)

Ash Porter

Research officer, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity


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Viral mutations speed up in a ‘sprint’ for a few weeks, sometimes leading to new sub-variants, and that's what's happening in the case of Omicron variant of coronavirus Image: Shutterstock

What is the World Economic Forum doing to manage emerging risks from COVID-19?

Two viruses can ‘swap’ genetic material, resulting in a recombinant virus that can become a distinct lineage (recombinant lineage X). Image: Ashleigh Porter

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COVID-19Pandemic Preparedness and ResponseGlobal Health


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