The shuffling of viruses among animals may increase the risk that one will jump into humans and cause a new pandemic, the researchers said.
For Carl Zimmer's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
As countries step back from tracking and tracing the virus, experts worry that it could hinder preparation for new surges or emerging variants.
Two new studies represent a significant salvo in the debate over the origins of a pandemic that has killed nearly 6 million people and sickened 400 million more.
Compared with earlier variants, omicron may cause less damage to the lungs, new animal research suggests.
Scientists reported on several studies suggesting that T cells in vaccinated people can put up a strong defense against the variant.
Two new antiviral pills are coming soon, and are expected to work against all versions of the virus.
The omicron variant carries worrisome mutations that may let it evade antibodies, scientists said. But it will take more research to know how it fares against vaccinated people.
The report will revive the debate over whether the pandemic started with a spillover from wildlife sold at the market, a leak from a Wuhan virology lab or some other way.
Jerusalem, however, announced that the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was seen to be 64% against all COVID-19 infections — down from about 95% in May.
The concerns about the shot mirror those about AstraZeneca’s, which European regulators began investigating last month after some recipients developed blood clots.