The Omicron variant may burn itself out in the next couple of months and the Delta coronavirus variation might reappear, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers warn in a recent report.
Their findings were just published in the peer-reviewed journal Science of the Total Environment.
While Delta wiped out the varieties that preceded it, Omicron has not eradicated Delta, according to Prof. Ariel Kushmaro and Dr. Karin Yaniv. Prof. Kushmaro’s lab team has developed sensitive arrays that can discriminate variants from one other in wastewater. Wastewater continues to give clues of where the coronavirus is present, even as PCR and rapid testing of humans declines.
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They studied Beer-sewage Sheva’s from December 2021 to January 2022 and observed this alarming interplay between the Omicron and Delta strains. They also constructed a model with Prof. Rony Granek, which indicates that Omicron is burning itself up while Delta is only biding its time.
“Of course, there are a lot of factors involved, but our model shows there could be another outbreak of Delta or another coronavirus variation this summer,” cautions Prof. Kushmaro.
The research was financed by the BGU Coronavirus Challenge and the Israeli Ministry of Health.