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FACT FINDERS: Could the omicron variant be connected with the common cold?

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 7:07 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Could the omicron variant actually be the result of two different viruses merging?

Dr. Sean Elliott with Tucson Medical Center says researchers are looking into the possibility that SARS CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, and another virus, that causes the common cold, came together to form omicron. He stresses that is not confirmed but if true it could help explain a lot.

”The SARS coronavirus part of omicron is a much older variant I guess based on how it appears under the molecular typing and it has all these new mutations which are an unheard of number of mutations, more than what might normally happen with natural selection. So, it is very believable that this is a combination event of two different coronaviruses sharing the worst of both,” he said.

So, how does this happen? Dr. Elliott says it is possible someone had COVID-19 and the common cold at the same time and as the viruses were in the same cell trying to replicate, they merged.

It is also important to note that if this theory holds true, while omicron may have picked up some genetic material from another virus like the common cold that does not” mean it mutated into the common cold or that it is the same as the common cold.

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