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Future COVID variants could be more deadly, scientists warn


New COVID-19 variants that emerge could cause more serious illness and fatalities than previous strains, some scientists warn.

Though the Omicron variant had milder symptoms, that may not be the case for future strains, experts told the Guardian.

“There will be more variants after Omicron and if they are more transmissible they will dominate. In addition, they may cause different patterns of illness, in other words they may turn out to be more lethal or have more long-term consequences,” David Nabarro, a special envoy on Covid-19 for the World Health Organization, told the outlet.

Warwick University Professor Lawrence Young denied that there’s a “linear evolution of the virus from Alpha to Beta to Delta to Omicron.”

“The idea that virus variants will continue to get milder is wrong. A new one could turn out to be even more pathogenic than the Delta variant, for example,” he told the Observer.

Experts said it’s impossible to predict where the next variant will emerge from — or its characteristics.

“The Omicron variant did not come from the Delta variant. It came from a completely different part of the virus’s family tree,” Edinburgh University Professor Mark Woolhouse told the Guardian.

Authored by Jackie Salo via NYPost

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