Image Above: COVID-19 Guidelines Nationwide, in Michigan, and Macomb County

McComb ’24: The rise in cases of COVID-19 results in new mutations of the virus. Variants of the Coronavirus include Delta and Omicron. Reports of Deltacron, a mix of both Delta and Omicron, show that the two variants combined to form one virus. However, many scientists say that the findings result from contamination of testing materials, not from a new variant.

The Delta variant of COVID-19 first appeared in December 2020. It spreads faster than the original virus that caused the initial outbreak, and possibly causes more severe cases. Vaccinations for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, also works for preventing life-threatening cases from the Delta variant. 

Omicron, first recorded in late November of 2021, only arrived in the United States recently. Since the virus only popped up in the last month or two, information on the variant remains limited. Scientists wait to see if Omicron spreads faster than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, and if it causes severe cases. They also expect current vaccines to stop the worst of the variant, but the possibility of vaccines working less effectively on Omicron exists. 

While Delta and Omicron persist, other variants never reached as big an impact. These include: Beta, Gamma, and Epsilon. Despite the dangers these variants hold, they never gained worldwide attention or as many cases as other variants.

Variants developing from the original strain of a virus occur regularly. However, their development commonly strikes at a human weakness that the original virus failed to hit. A unique threat present in a new variant brings with it more cases and sick people in hospitals. But through safety measures, like masks and vaccines, the virus’ spread declines. While the start of a variant’s life exists outside of human control, with proper precautions their death occurs sooner.

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