22 May 2022

Covid-19: How come there are so many Omicron variants?

From Sunday Morning, 8:30 am on 22 May 2022

We've all heard about new Omicron subvariants with such original names as BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5. The recent proliferation of Omicron variants begs the question: is Covid-19 mutating faster than ever before? And what does this all mean for the future of the virus?

Virus evolution expert Dr Sebastian Duchene's research has shown that Sars-CoV-2 is extremely fast when it comes to mutating, performing "mutational sprints" for short periods of time that allow the virus to mutate up to ten times faster than usual.

Duchene, who is from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, joins the show to discuss the Omicron variant outburst and what potentially lies ahead.