The science may still be uncertain but the Omicron variant has definitively intruded upon recent stock market euphoria.
The designation as a variant of concern last week, and then further comments this morning from vaccine makers that existing vaccines will not be as effective, has caused widespread and significant falls in share prices.
So what will the economic effect be? It should be limited and that is mainly because it’s clear that the UK government and the US government will do everything to avoid any further lockdowns.
The world awaits the health data from hospitals, first from South Africa’s outbreak, and then elsewhere, about its transmissibility and severity.
Click on the image below to find out more from Faisal Islam, BBC Economics Editor.