How to Predict the Evolution of Covid-19 Variants

Man and Covid-19 have a race.
Illustration by Vector-Up from

It is normal for a virus to mutate or evolve over time. If many people are susceptible to infection, only the variants with better transmission ability will dominate. If most people have developed an immune response to the virus, either through natural infection or through a vaccine, only the variants with better resistance to our immune system will survive.

Therefore, it is common for a virus to become more infectious and more resistant to antibodies, as in the case of Omicron BA.5, a new variant of Covid-19 that has been shown to be more transmissible and more resistant to the immune system than other Omicron sub-variants. But why should BA.5 become more virulent? Probably because a patient with severe symptoms can infect more people over a longer period of contagion than those with mild symptoms. It is therefore beneficial for BA.5 to cause severe symptoms in patients.

It is easy to predict that new variants of Covid-19 will continue to emerge with increasingly efficient transmission if the virus can run wild.



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Jun Xu

Jun Xu

A happy learner from China, whose ideas are free to be used for a better world.