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  • This is what the virus causing COVID-19 looked like when it was first detected in Wuhan, China.

    這是導致 COVID-19 疫情的病毒在中國武漢首次被發現時的模樣。

  • Now, scientists have identified a new variant called Omicron; it has 30 mutations affecting these spike proteins, which the virus uses to attach itself to human cells to infect them.

    現在,科學家們已經確定了一個名為 Omicron 的變異株。它有 30 個影響棘蛋白的突變,病毒利用這些突變將自己附著在人體細胞上,從而感染它們。

  • - This is a clarion call, as fas as I'm concerned. - Yeah.


  • It does appear that Omicron spreads very rapidly and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated.

    看來 Omicro 的傳染速度確實非常快,而且可以在打兩劑疫苗的人之間傳播。

  • Scientists in South Africa first sounded the alarm over the variant.


  • As people start to move even more over the next few weeks, this will be all over.


  • It has been detected in a growing number of locations around the world, prompting governments including the US to restrict travel from Southern Africa and Israel to ban entry to all foreign national.


  • It's too early to know how concerned we should be about this, but there are enough signals that this is something that's important that needs to be investigated.


  • The variant was declared a variant of concern by the World Health Organization.


  • The agency said there could be an increased risk of COVID-19 reinfection with Omicron compared to other variants, and authorities say it could be more transmissible.

    該組織指出,與其他變異株相比,得過 COVID-19 再感染 Omicron 的風險可能會增加,當局說它可能更具傳染性。

  • A number of cases have been linked to South Africa, where scientists believe it could have caused a spike in infections.


  • The number of infections detected per day rose sharply to nearly 3,000 cases on Sunday from roughly 200 cases just two weeks earlier.

    每天檢測到的確診數從兩週前的大約 200 例急劇上升到週日的近 3000 例。

  • This new variant has more than 50 mutations, more than 30 of them, they are in the spike protein, which is the part through which the virus latches onto the human cell, but there's a lot of mutations that we've never seen.

    這個新的變異株有 50 多個突變,其中 30 多個是在棘蛋白中。這是病毒侵入人類細胞的途徑,但有很多突變是我們從未見過的。

  • There's a bunch that, in previous variants, have shown to make the variant either more contagious or allow it to evade parts of the immune response that was triggered by a vaccine or by a past infection.


  • The Omicron variant has twice as many mutations as the Delta variant, a highly contagious strain that was identified in India, October of last year and became the dominant form of the virus around the world.

    Omicron 變異株的突變數量是 Delta 變異株的兩倍,Delta 在去年 10 月在印度被發現,是一種高度傳染性的病毒,成為全球的主要病毒形式。

  • Now, scientists are racing to investigate how widespread the Omicron variant could be.

    現在,科學家們正競相調查這種 Omicron 變異株可能有多廣泛。

  • It's hard to know exactly how much it spread.


  • Most cases don't get diagnosed and an even fewer number gets sequence.


  • So, whatever number of cases are officially reported or whatever number of countries that have officially reported cases, that is likely an underestimate with an efficiently spreading respiratory virus.


  • So I suspect you'll find more cases in more countries.


  • Pfizer, Moderna, and other vaccine makers have said they have plans in place to adapt their vaccines following the emergence of Omicron.

    輝瑞、莫德納和其他疫苗製造商表示,他們在 Omicron 出現後已經有計劃調整他們的疫苗。

  • BIONTECH, which developed one of the most commonly-used COVID-19 vaccines together with Pfizer, said they expect to be able to tweak their vaccine in around 100 days if needed.

    BioNTech 與輝瑞公司一起研發出最常用的 COVID-19 疫苗之一,並表示如果急需的話,他們預計能夠在 100 天內左右微調他們的疫苗。

  • When it comes to variants, when they possess certain mutations that have already been associated with certain changes in the behavior of the virus,


  • like the ability to evade vaccines or monoclonal antibodies or prior immunity or the ability to transmit more efficiently.


  • Those have to be taken seriously and have to be investigated because it may change how we need to respond to or think about the virus and the trajectory of the pandemic.


  • Scientists have also warned for months that the risk of new variants is higher where vaccination rates are lower, especially in areas with people who are immunocompromised.


  • In South Africa, only about one-fourth of the population is fully vaccinated; it's nearly 60% in the US.

    在南非,只有約 1/4 的人口完全接種疫苗,而在美國的比例接近 60%。

  • This, I think, is not a coincidence that it arose or was detected in a place with a low vaccination level,


  • which tells us that the more vaccination we get into people, the higher the vaccination numbers are, the more resilient we're going to be to variants like this.


This is what the virus causing COVID-19 looked like when it was first detected in Wuhan, China.

這是導致 COVID-19 疫情的病毒在中國武漢首次被發現時的模樣。

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為什麼 Omicron 變體讓科學家們感到擔憂 (Why the Omicron Variant Is Concerning Scientists | WSJ)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2022 年 04 月 05 日