19 Countries Confirm Cases Of New Omicron Variant

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19 Countries Confirm Cases Of New Omicron Variant
The director of the National Institutes of Health says Omicron appears to be a different animal entirely.

Roughly 20 countries around the world now have confirmed cases of the Omicron variant, and health experts are rushing to figure out the impact that this new COVID strain could possibly have. 

Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, says Omicron appears to be a different animal entirely. 

"I think we're all concerned that Omicron has such a large number of mutations — more than 50 — that all the things that we've done to try to generate immunity against this virus, this is a somewhat different animal and we're not sure whether it's going to be as effective as we'd like or not," he said.

The Biden administration is considering new travel rules to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, according to multiple reports. Health officials say they would require people entering the country to take a COVID test one day before boarding flights. The rule would reportedly apply to everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated.