Everything We Know and Don’t Know About the Omicron Variant

University of Michigan infectious disease expert Dr. Adam Lauring talks about how viral variants manifest and spread around the country.

This week, Michigan hit a dreadful milestone. The state has the highest number of adults hospitalized with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, even as vaccines are widely available. 

“I think it’s important for everyone to remember that we know so little right now.” –Adam Lauring, microbiologist at University of Michigan

Now, many Michiganders and Americans are worried about a new variant that has emerged and is spreading around the world. 

Listen: Why scientists are concerned about the omicron variant.


Adam Lauring is an associate professor of microbiology and immunology, and infectious diseases at the University of Michigan medical school. “I think it’s important for everyone to remember that we know so little right now,” he says. 

Lauring’s lab uploads the second most variant data in Michigan behind the state lab. He says some viral mutations are much more important than others, which is contingent upon how quickly the new virus spreads and the lethality that it brings with it. 

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