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The Omicron Variant, Infected Deer, And Where The Pandemic Goes From Here

People wait in line at a walk-up vaccination site in Washington, DC.
People wait in line at a walk-up vaccination site in Washington, DC.

An estimated 53 million Americans returned from their holiday travel this weekend to news of a new variant of COVID-19.

The Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa and cases have since been reported in a growing number of countries including Germany, Canada, Australia, and the U.K.

So far, no cases have been reported in the U.S. But experts say it’s only a matter of time.President Joe Biden spoke yesterday about the new variant, telling Americans not to panic. 

But even as we consider the immediate concernsover Omicron, scientists arepointing to a longer-term issue: a growing number of animals becoming infected with COVID-19. These spillover events where germs jump from humansto animals and back againcan create new viral strains.

What does this mean for the state of the pandemic?

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