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You are here News Health An ever-mutating mix of COVID variants means fewer and less effective treatments this fall

An ever-mutating mix of COVID variants means fewer and less effective treatments this fall

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New variantscoming this fall

The pandemic might be over in the minds of some. But like it or not, COVID is ramping up for a fall wave—one likely to be fueled by multiple variants, experts say, as the virus mutates and spreads exponentially.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and other experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, foresee a wave beginning to swell in late October, and peaking in late December or January.

It could kill another 20,500 Americans, according to the IHME.

While the coming wave may be caused by multiple variants, they may start to look increasingly similar as they mutate to become more efficient—and take the same path to achieve it.

The wave may be carried by one variant, Dr. Raj Rajnarayanan, assistant dean of research and associate professor at the New York Institute of Technology campus in Jonesboro, Ark., told Fortune this week.

“But if you look closer, they may all have the same set of mutations.”

And they may all end up with the same disastrous effect: rendering current COVID countermeasures like drugs and vaccines powerless.

Omicron spawn BA.2.75, dubbed “Centaurus,” seemed like the COVID variant to watch this summer—one with the potential to wreak havoc later in the year.

But Centaurus is no longer a worry, according to Rajnarayanan. Instead, one of its children, BA.2.75.2, has outcompeted it, eliminating it as a threat—but replacing it with a more formidable one.


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