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Omicron Multiplies Faster in Airways

By NAM News Room

The following are three highlights from recent studies of COVID-19, as summarized in a Reuters roundup.

Omicron multiplies faster in airways, more slowly in lungs: Compared to the delta variant, omicron “multiplies itself 70 times more quickly in tissues that line airway passages, which may facilitate person-to-person spread, they said. But in lung tissues, Omicron replicates 10 times more slowly than the original version of the coronavirus, which might contribute to less-severe illness.”

Omicron can withstand some antibodies: In computer models of the omicron spike protein, some antibodies are “shaken off” while others remain effective.

  • Booster vaccines raise antibody levels, resulting in “more defenders,” which might compensate to some extent for “a weaker grip of an individual antibody,” said Joseph Lubin of Rutgers University.

Four in 10 may unknowingly spread the virus: Asymptomatic carriers “might be contributing significantly to transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, given that they account for 40.5% of confirmed infections worldwide, according to a study published online Tuesday in the journal JAMA Network Open.”

  • The percentage of asymptomatic infections was approximately 46% in the U.S.
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