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Why is the omicron COVID-19 virus so weird?


Experts disagree. Here’s why:

Some think the virus might have hidden in rodents or other animals, rather than people, and therefore experienced different evolutionary pressures that selected for novel mutations. “The genome is just so weird,” says Kristian Andersen, an infectious disease researcher at Scripps Research, pointing to its medley of mutations, many of which have not been seen before in other variants.

“It is interesting, just how crazily different it is,” says evolutionary biologist Mike Worobey of the University of Arizona, Tucson. Although he favors an immunosuppressed person as the source of Omicron, Worobey notes that 80% of white-tailed deer sampled in Iowa between late November 2020 and early January 2021 carried SARS-CoV-2, according to a recent preprint. “It does make me wonder if other species out there can become chronically infected, which would potentially provide this sort of selective pressure over time.”

Kai Kupferschmidt, “Where did ‘weird’ Omicron come from?” at Science (Where did ‘weird’ Omicron come from?)

It’s too early, we are told, to rule anything out.

Thought: Maybe lots of viruses are weird but we don’t pay much attention to most of them.

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Mind blowing. Now we know why ivermectin was demonized and what kind of people "lead us". The story of ivermectin Lieutenant Commander Data
I want to know how deer got Covid to start with... since it spread by humans flying from china. And yes, what brought about tracking deer down and checking them. I have wondered how accurate their Covid variant testing could be if their testing doesn't actually say what strand it is... so a vast majority of cases (the non-hospitalized ones) you have no idea what's in there. zweston
This is quite literally Gee whiz science We have known that this to be an attribute of many viruses for decades The molecular mutations gained from the host is a very common attribute of viruses and has been one of the primary reasons why we can’t fully become immune to them all So geewhiz you don’t say……. AaronS1978
The best thing that can happen is for a new variant that is more transmissible but less dangerous with regard to negative health impacts. Hopefully omicron is that variant. Joe Schooner
I wonder how they got the deer to hold still long enough for the nasal swabbing.
A negative test is a legal requirement for them enter a forest. Joe Schooner
I wonder how they got the deer to hold still long enough for the nasal swabbing. EDTA
We especially didn't pay attention to the common cold virus until 2020 when it became a flavor of Viagra for sadistic demons. Now we have an ever-widening variety of flavors and brands, each with unique colors and letters on its lively label, each requiring new heights of exquisite torture and cruelty. polistra

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