Following a series of related tests that were initially thought to have launched the global epidemic in China, Boston University researchers claim to have generated a new COVID strain with an 80% fatality rate.
The version, a combination of omicron and the original virus in Wuhan, killed 80% of the mice infected with it, according to Fox News. Mice only showed modest effects when exposed to omicron. A team of scientists from Florida and Boston conducted the study at the school’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories.
As per the reports of Fox News, they extracted the spike protein from omicron and attached it with the strain first detected at the onset of the pandemic that began in Wuhan, China. They then documented how the mice reacted to the hybrid strain. “In…mice, while Omicron causes mild, non-fatal infection, the Omicron S-carrying virus inflicts severe disease with a mortality rate of 80 percent,” they wrote in a research paper.
According to researchers, the new strain has five times more contagious virus particles than the omicron variety. In a statement, the university stressed that the replicated strain was less dangerous than the original strain.
“First, this research is not gain-of-function research, meaning it did not amplify the Washington state SARS-COV-2 virus strain or make it more dangerous. In fact, this research made the virus replicate less dangerous,” the statement read.
“Secondly, the research was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), which consists of scientists as well as local community members. The Boston Public Health Commission also approved the research.
Furthermore, this research mirrors and reinforces the findings of other, similar research performed by other organizations, including the FDA. Ultimately, this research will provide a public benefit by leading to better, targeted therapeutic interventions to help fight against future pandemics.”
According to Fox News, COVID-19 was thought to have originated in a wet market in Wuhan, although many believe the virus was created at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The World Health Organization is still being chastised for how it handled the crisis in its early, critical days. Even among fully vaccinated people, the omicron variation is extremely transmissible. According to experts, the spike protein is responsible for virus infectivity rates; other modifications to the virus’s structure control its timeliness. One disadvantage of the study was the type of mouse utilised, as other species are more human-like.