The newest strand of COVID-19

On November 26th, The World Health Organization named a new variant, Omicron. Within the World Health Organization (WHO), there’s another advisory group called the Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution.  They made it official based on evidence that was presented.  So, how do you decide whether a virus has evolved?  It has to do with mutations.  Mutations are changes related to the virus’s behavior.  And, what does it mean for a virus to behave?  It has to do with how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes. 

This new variant comes from South Africa.  Researchers there and other places around the world are conducting studies to understand all of Omicron.  It is so new, that it is still unknown how easily it transmits or how sick people will get.  But, one thing is for sure- everyone is on high alert.  Countries such as Israel are closing borders again and others are on lockdown.  There are approximately 23 countries that have detected the Omicron variant.  Most recently, Nigeria and Ghana detected recent cases. 

In Nigeria, their Center for Disease Control believes travelers entered the country with the Omicron variant. Ghana also announced on Wednesday that it detected the Omicron variant in airline passengers who arrived at the capital on Nov. 21st.  The passengers arrived from Nigeria and South Africa. The two countries are the third and fourth countries to detect Omicron. 

In the United States, the first Omicron case has been detected.  This is in San Fransisco California and reported today.  The patient was thoughtful enough to contact health officials to explain that he or she flew from South Africa.  He is now in isolation. The person is feeling ok and close contacts have been notified and family members tested negative.  

With all of this uncertainty, Dr. Fauci is asking all unvaccinated people to get vaccinated.  

Article 3: Michigan High School Shooting: 4 Students Killed and Several Injured

On Tuesday afternoon in a suburban Detroit high school, a teenager shot and killed four students.  Sadly, this is one of 28 shootings reported, according to Education Week.  It is one of the deadliest on school property this year.  A 15-year-old sophomore was taken into custody with a semiautomatic handgun that was bought by his dad 4 days before the school shooting.  All students killed were all students at Oxford High. They were Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwyn 17, Justin Shilling, 17, and Tate Myre, 16 years old.  Their ages ranged from 14 to 17 years old.  There was one teacher shot.  He was discharged and released. He is 47 years old.  

Students explained the horrifying experience in interviews.  Many were hiding under desks, trembling and shaking.  Others were hiding in bathroom stalls and closets.  The killer said that he was an adult officer trying to get into the classrooms in the school.  The country sheriff said that the gunman had a 9-millimeter handgun when he was arrested.  He was still armed and there were seven bullets remaining. He was still in the high school hallway. The male suspect named Ethan Crumbley is being held at the local juvenile jail.  He will be tried as an adult.  There is a lot of online evidence that this attack was planned ahead of time. 

Crumbley is charged with 1 count of terrorism, 7 counts of assault with intent to murder, 4 counts of 1st-degree murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm while committing a felony.  Because the firearm was bought by the father, the prosecutor is considering charging the parents. Investigators searched the suspect’s house and found many guns. 

The local 911 center received more than 100 calls from the students. The first 911 call was made at 12:51 p.m. The poor parents, who were terrified and anxious were waiting to hear the news at the local grocery store.  Students who were evacuated from the school all said that the school did an excellent job keeping everyone safe and calm. 

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