As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, several variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, had been identified and circulated around the world. It's important to note that the situation with COVID-19 is dynamic, and new variants can emerge over time. The most notable variants up to that point included:
- Alpha Variant (B.1.1.7): First identified in the United Kingdom, this variant was associated with increased transmissibility.
- Beta Variant (B.1.351): First identified in South Africa, it raised concerns due to potential reduced vaccine efficacy against it.
- Gamma Variant (P.1): Initially found in Brazil, this variant was also associated with increased transmissibility and potential vaccine resistance.
- Delta Variant (B.1.617.2): First identified in India, the Delta variant became a dominant strain in many parts of the world and was more transmissible. It raised concerns about vaccine effectiveness.
- Omicron Variant (B.1.1.529): The Omicron variant, first detected in South Africa, was notable for its large number of mutations in the spike protein of the virus. It led to concerns about increased transmissibility and potential impacts on vaccine efficacy. Omicron prompted significant global attention and response.
Please note that new variants have emerged since my last update, and the situation is continually evolving. Variants may have different characteristics, including increased transmissibility, resistance to immunity from previous infection or vaccination, or potential for more severe disease. Public health agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), monitor and assess these variants and provide guidance accordingly.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 variants and their impact, it's best to refer to the latest guidance from your local health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO).
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