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The AP Interview: Scientist says omicron was a group find

The AP Interview Virus Outbreak Omicron
Posted at 6:24 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 21:36:06-05

JOHANNESBURG — The Botswana scientist who may well have discovered the omicron variant of the coronavirus says he has been through a “rollercoaster of emotions” — the pride of accomplishment followed by dismay over the travel bans immediately slapped on southern African countries.

Dr. Sikhulile Moyo was doing genomic sequencing of COVID-19 samples at his lab two weeks ago and noticed three cases that seemed dramatically different, an unusual pattern with multiple mutations.

After careful study, he decided to publicly release the data on the internet.

Soon scientists in South Africa said they had made the same findings.

And an identical case in Hong Kong was also identified.

A new coronavirus variant had been discovered.

The World Health Organization named it omicron.

Omicron is now in 5 states, but so far it has not been detected in Louisiana.

During Friday's news briefing, Governor Edwards said state officials are trying hard to monitor this latest mutation.

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