It seems to not set up in the lungs….
Only in the nose, throat and windpipe….
The original South Africa data is backed up….
A spate of new studies on lab animals and human tissues are providing the first indication of why the Omicron variant causes milder disease than previous versions of the coronavirus.
In studies on mice and hamsters, Omicron produced less damaging infections, often limited largely to the upper airway: the nose, throat and windpipe. The variant did much less harm to the lungs, where previous variants would often cause scarring and serious breathing difficulty.
“It’s fair to say that the idea of a disease that manifests itself primarily in the upper respiratory system is emerging,” said Roland Eils, a computational biologist at the Berlin Institute of Health, who has studied how coronaviruses infect the airway.
In November, when the first report on the Omicron variant came out of South Africa, scientists could only guess at how it might behave differently from earlier forms of the virus. All they knew was that it had a distinctive and alarming combination of more than 50 genetic mutations….
Scientists know that part of Omicron’s contagiousness comes from its ability to evade antibodies, allowing it to easily get into cells of vaccinated people far more easily than other variants. But they suspect that Omicron has some other biological advantages as well….
“It could be as simple as, this is a lot more virus in people’s saliva and nasal passages,”…