The British scientists conclude that the next strain of coronavirus may have greater pathogenicity than the delta or omicron strains, and could kill many more people, The Guardian reports.
“The Omicron variant did not come from the Delta variant. It came from a completely different part of the virus’s family tree. And since we don’t know where in the virus’s family tree a new variant is going to come from, we cannot know how pathogenic it might be. It could be less pathogenic but it could, just as easily, be more pathogenic” says Professor of Epidemiology of the University of Edinburgh Mark Woolhouse.
Other scientists share Woolhouse’s view. David Nabarro, a special envoy on Covid-19 for the World Health Organization, also agrees with the unpredictability and randomness factor in the issue of mutation and spread of infection.
“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,” he said.