Another possible Corona virus mutation

ffemt8978

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Looks like there may be another variant of the Covid virus that has made itself known.
 

CCCSD

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Yeahhhh…. I’m hoping that this is evaluated by actual Scientists, not some local wag who may or may not have graduated from medical school and understands scientific theory. Anyone working for the ANC/SA Government is suspect. Sorry, but that’s just the truth of things.
 
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ffemt8978

ffemt8978

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Yeahhhh…. I’m hoping that this is evaluated by actual Scientists, not some local wag who may or may not have graduated from medical school and understands scientific theory. Anyone working for the ANC/SA Government is suspect. Sorry, but that’s just the truth of things.
Did you miss this part in the article?
The World Health Organization’s technical working group is to meet Friday to assess the new variant and may decide whether or not to give it a name from the Greek alphabet.
 

EpiEMS

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Though I have inherent suspicion of the SA government due to…certain news items historically, this seems quite scary & plausible given the conditions there. (The folks cited as identifying / researching are mostly UK trained & are quite well published, giving me more confidence in the finding.)
 
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ffemt8978

ffemt8978

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The part that is worrisome is this tidbit:
Medical experts, including the World Health Organization, warned against any overreaction before the variant that originated in southern Africa was better understood. But a jittery world feared the worst nearly two years after COVID-19 emerged and triggered a pandemic that has killed more than 5 million people around the globe.

If the medical experts had reacted more quickly when Covid first appeared, there is a strong possibility this pandemic wouldn't have been as severe.
 

Summit

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Why I am less nervous: these same concerning anecdotes were present during the Beta surge (Beta South African B.1.351). South African sources echoed quite loudly on the subject:
  1. There was much talk of reinfection cases.
  2. There was in vitro reduced neutralizing activity studies that had people up in arms.
  3. There was great concern of vaccine escape.
So what actually happened since the world didn't end?
  1. No epidemiologically meaningful reinfection data was ever shown.
  2. The in vitro experiments didn't transfer over to in vivo and epidemiologically significant effects for pandemic control.
  3. The vaccine concerns ended up being that the AZ vaccine used in SA was subpar in VEI realworld performance, but still protected extremely well against severe disease.
Beta was not the "Omega strain" feared, nor was its equally supposedly-fearsome cousin Gamma (P.1 Brazil) a terror outside of its emergent region which had the same fears, anecdotes, and in vitro data as Beta. Lambda and Mu were going to do us in as well. Alpha (UK B.1.17), the less fearsome though still more virulent and contagious than Wild Type, ended up being the worldwide dominant strain until Delta (India B.1.617) decisively outcompeted every other strain across the globe.

Will New "Nu" (Botswana/South Africa B.1.1.529) be the immunity escaping Omega strain?

Why I am nervous:
concerning anecdotes from SA about immune escape and presumed high seroprevalence in the region, maybe 40% maybe 70% while vaccine uptake is just over 20%. South Africa had it bad, about as bad as anywhere and the situations in their hospitals were just gut wrenching for patients and staff. The issue is of course that there are localized bursts in incidence that follow a mutation of better reproductive fitness which could be similar to Alpha and Delta, but not necessarily immune escape, or it could mean some level of immune escape. We have alterations in areas of the spike protein that could compromise previous infection immunity, vaccine response, and even multicompartment immunity... but will eyeballing a protein/sequence and computer simulation equal reduced activity in vitro? In vivo? Meaningfully so? For those previously infected? For those vaccinated? How about for those boosted? We won't know for 2-4 weeks.

When 1918 H1N1 Paninfluenza went around the world in several waves over the 2+ years of that pandemic, it mutated into more strains than SARS-CoV-2. There was no vaccine, or even real understanding that it was a virus. People were reinfected because the new strains were mutated to the point of immune escape because that is what Influenza virus does best, much better than COVID. But the immune memory was not truly blind. The people who were infected previously had a much milder course and the second time around, and that wasn't simply regression to mean virulence through mutation.

What is clear is that like Delta, "Nu" emerged in a low vaccination region. Mutations come from replications. The only way to cut replications is to prevent infections. The only way to prevent infections long term is vaccinations. Luckily, with mRNA technology, Moderna and Biontech could start the production of a tuned up booster shot next week. If we treat approval as we do seasonal influenza shots, deployment could be faster than the virus moving forward.
 
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EpiEMS

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[mention]Summit [/mention] , thanks for sharing the comprehensive write up!
 

akflightmedic

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Omicron....
 

DrParasite

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So you're saying I shouldn't visit South Africa and lick every door knob in sight?
 
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ffemt8978

ffemt8978

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So after days of saying countries shouldn't overreact to omicron variant, thr WHO has now changed their mind and is calling the variant a very high risk with possible severe consequences.
 

Summit

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We know almost nothing.
It has concerning mutations in concerning locations and numbers.
It took primary prevalence in a scary short time. THAT is POTENTIALLY concerning.
That is about all we know.

The appropriate reaction to that would be travel restrictions, testing, and studies. Could be nothingburger or something between Delta and January 2020.
 
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ffemt8978

ffemt8978

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We know almost nothing.
It has concerning mutations in concerning locations and numbers.
It took primary prevalence in a scary short time. THAT is POTENTIALLY concerning.
That is about all we know.

The appropriate reaction to that would be travel restrictions, testing, and studies. Could be nothingburger or something between Delta and January 2020.
Except the WHO was decrying travel restrictions due to this variant only days ago.
 

Summit

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Except the WHO was decrying travel restrictions due to this variant only days ago.
WHO who also skipped naming the variant X. WHO does their job, which is heavily biased towards the third world, but serves their masters, which is heavily biased towards PRC.
 
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ffemt8978

ffemt8978

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WHO who also skipped naming the variant X. WHO does their job, which is heavily biased towards the third world, but serves their masters, which is heavily biased towards PRC.
All the while managing to shoot their reputation in the foot.
 

DrParasite

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And the doctor who discovered the variant says this:
  • Covid symptoms linked to the new omicron variant have been described as “extremely mild” by the South African doctor who first raised the alarm over the new strain.
  • Dr. Angelique Coetzee told the BBC on Sunday that the patients seen so far have had “extremely mild symptoms.”

So maybe the lockdowns and travel restrictions are a massive xenophobic reaction (possibly even racist, since they involve nations whose population are primarily of color), especially when the person who identified the variant says the symptoms are extremely mild, and we have vaccines and therapeutics to handle the symptoms?
 

Summit

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And the doctor who discovered the variant says this:


So maybe the lockdowns and travel restrictions are a massive xenophobic reaction (possibly even racist, since they involve nations whose population are primarily of color), especially when the person who identified the variant says the symptoms are extremely mild, and we have vaccines and therapeutics to handle the symptoms?
A couple of outpatient case reports anecdotally reported to the news is going to define the presentation and supposed reduced virulence of this variant... and nobody even knows if these non-representative sample patients even had Omicron? FFS

And regression to mean virulence is not a guarantee for zoonosis, nor a steady path when it occurs!

This isn't the 1918 H1N1 crummy today, bed ridden tonight, dead tomorrow.

Evolutionary pressure is for reproductive fitness and transmission, not host morbidity/mortality. The latter only matters as it influences the former.

COVID severe morbidity and mortality occur late in the course of illness, long after most transmission occurs.

Could this be less virulent? Yes. Could it be more virulent? Yes. The virus doesn't care. It only "cares" about making more virus. We know jack and **** right now.

The news is full on anecdotal reports and this particular doctor has a huge motivation as she doesn't want travel restrictions.
 

Aprz

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