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New studies reinforce belief that Omicron is less likely to damage lungs

Six research groups’ findings all suggest variant multiplies more in throats and causes less serious disease

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A growing body of evidence indicates that the Omicron Covid variant is more likely to infect the throat than the lungs, which scientists believe may explain why it appears to be more infectious but less deadly than other versions of the virus. Six studies – four published since Christmas Eve – have found that Omicron does not damage people’s lungs as much as the Delta and other previous variants of Covid. The studies have yet to be peer-reviewed by other scientists.

“The result of all the mutations that make Omicron different from previous variants is that it may have altered its ability to infect different sorts of cells,” said Deenan Pillay, professor of virology at University College London.

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