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Author Topic: Omicron variant  (Read 2339 times)

MU82

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Omicron variant
« on: November 25, 2021, 06:01:20 PM »
Oh great ...

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/11/25/world/covid-vaccine-boosters-mandates?campaign_id=60&emc=edit_na_20211125&instance_id=0&nl=breaking-news&ref=headline&regi_id=108420427&segment_id=75376&user_id=d36dcf821462fdd16ec3636710a855fa#variant-south-africa-covid

JOHANNESBURG — A concerning new variant of the coronavirus, whose mutations evidence a “big jump in evolution,” is driving a spike in new Covid-19 infections in South Africa, scientists said on Thursday.

In the last 36 hours after observing an increase in infections in South Africa’s economic hub, the Gauteng province, scientists detected the B1.1.529 variant. So far, 22 positive cases have been identified in South Africa, according to South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

Since the onset of the pandemic, a number of variants have emerged. One underlying concern about new variants is whether they will stymie progress against the pandemic or whether they will limit the vaccine’s effectiveness. South African scientists will meet with the World Health Organization technical team on Friday, where authorities will assign a letter of the Greek alphabet to this one.

Botswana’s health ministry confirmed in a statement that four cases of the new variant were detected in people who were all fully vaccinated. All four were tested before their planned travel. One sample was also detected in Hong Kong, carried by a traveler from South Africa, South African scientists said.

With over 1,200 new infections, South Africa’s daily infection rate is much lower than in Germany, where new cases are driving a wave. However, the density of mutations on this new variant raises fears that it could be highly contagious, leading scientists to sound the alarm early.

“This variant did surprise us, it has a big jump in evolution, many more mutations than we expected, especially after a very severe third wave of Delta,” said Tulio de Oliveira, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform.

The B1.1.529 variant has a “very unusual constellation of mutations,” with more than 30 mutations in the spike protein alone, said Mr. de Oliveira. On the ACE2 receptor — the protein that helps to create an entry point for the coronavirus to infect human cells — the new variant has 10 mutations. In comparison, the Beta variant has three, the Delta variant has two, said Mr. de Oliveira.

Displaying mutations that might resist neutralization, scientists are also still unclear how effective existing vaccines will be against the new variant. The variant shares similarities with the Lambda and Beta variants, which are associated with an innate evasion of immunity, said Richard Lessells, an infectious diseases specialist at the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform.

“All these things are what give us some concern that this variant might have not just enhanced transmissibility, so spread more efficiently, but might also be able to get around parts of the immune system and the protection we have in our immune system,” said Mr. Lessells.

The new variant has largely been detected among young people, the cohort that also has the lowest vaccination rate in South Africa. Just over a quarter of those ages between 18 and 34 are vaccinated, said Dr. Joe Phaahla, the country’s minister of health.

While cases of the new variant are mainly concentrated in the country’s economic hub, particularly in the capital Pretoria, it is “only a matter of time” before the virus spreads across the country as schools close and families prepare to travel for the holiday season, said Mr. Phaahla.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 02:19:23 PM by MU82 »
“A lot of the stuff that we believe in and that I’ve always believed in — it takes time. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not an instant-gratification thing. It’s a drip-by-drip process.”

-- Shaka Smart, in The Athletic, 10/13/21

Warriors4ever

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Re: New variant
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2021, 10:40:37 PM »
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-59424269

UK putting six African countries back on the red list, and will be instituting hotel quarantine for arrivals.

Hards_Alumni

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Re: New variant
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2021, 01:11:05 AM »
Oh great ...

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/11/25/world/covid-vaccine-boosters-mandates?campaign_id=60&emc=edit_na_20211125&instance_id=0&nl=breaking-news&ref=headline&regi_id=108420427&segment_id=75376&user_id=d36dcf821462fdd16ec3636710a855fa#variant-south-africa-covid

JOHANNESBURG — A concerning new variant of the coronavirus, whose mutations evidence a “big jump in evolution,” is driving a spike in new Covid-19 infections in South Africa, scientists said on Thursday.

In the last 36 hours after observing an increase in infections in South Africa’s economic hub, the Gauteng province, scientists detected the B1.1.529 variant. So far, 22 positive cases have been identified in South Africa, according to South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

Since the onset of the pandemic, a number of variants have emerged. One underlying concern about new variants is whether they will stymie progress against the pandemic or whether they will limit the vaccine’s effectiveness. South African scientists will meet with the World Health Organization technical team on Friday, where authorities will assign a letter of the Greek alphabet to this one.

Botswana’s health ministry confirmed in a statement that four cases of the new variant were detected in people who were all fully vaccinated. All four were tested before their planned travel. One sample was also detected in Hong Kong, carried by a traveler from South Africa, South African scientists said.

With over 1,200 new infections, South Africa’s daily infection rate is much lower than in Germany, where new cases are driving a wave. However, the density of mutations on this new variant raises fears that it could be highly contagious, leading scientists to sound the alarm early.

“This variant did surprise us, it has a big jump in evolution, many more mutations than we expected, especially after a very severe third wave of Delta,” said Tulio de Oliveira, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform.

The B1.1.529 variant has a “very unusual constellation of mutations,” with more than 30 mutations in the spike protein alone, said Mr. de Oliveira. On the ACE2 receptor — the protein that helps to create an entry point for the coronavirus to infect human cells — the new variant has 10 mutations. In comparison, the Beta variant has three, the Delta variant has two, said Mr. de Oliveira.

Displaying mutations that might resist neutralization, scientists are also still unclear how effective existing vaccines will be against the new variant. The variant shares similarities with the Lambda and Beta variants, which are associated with an innate evasion of immunity, said Richard Lessells, an infectious diseases specialist at the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform.

“All these things are what give us some concern that this variant might have not just enhanced transmissibility, so spread more efficiently, but might also be able to get around parts of the immune system and the protection we have in our immune system,” said Mr. Lessells.

The new variant has largely been detected among young people, the cohort that also has the lowest vaccination rate in South Africa. Just over a quarter of those ages between 18 and 34 are vaccinated, said Dr. Joe Phaahla, the country’s minister of health.

While cases of the new variant are mainly concentrated in the country’s economic hub, particularly in the capital Pretoria, it is “only a matter of time” before the virus spreads across the country as schools close and families prepare to travel for the holiday season, said Mr. Phaahla.

Sweet nightmare fuel.  Probably already too late to stop it.

jesmu84

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Re: New variant
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2021, 11:57:51 AM »
It's so nice to remember that our country - as well as a conglomerate of first world countries - decided NOT to waive patent rights on the vaccines, which would have permitted significant production and vaccination across the globe. Which, in turn, would have reduced spread and decreased likelihood of mutations.

Unfettered capitalism baby!

JWags85

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Re: New variant
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2021, 12:02:52 PM »
South Africa’s saying the breakthrough cases aren’t showing to be severe, FWIW. Could be Delta 2.0?

Fluffy Blue Monster

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Re: New variant
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2021, 12:06:29 PM »
South Africa’s saying the breakthrough cases aren’t showing to be severe, FWIW. Could be Delta 2.0?

It’s also REALLY early in the data collection.
“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.”  -Clarence Darrow

ZiggysFryBoy

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Re: New variant
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2021, 12:38:18 PM »
WHO already changed the name from nu to opinion.

Nu/new variant was already memed to death.

Billy Hoyle

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Re: New variant
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2021, 01:30:32 PM »
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-59424269

UK putting six African countries back on the red list, and will be instituting hotel quarantine for arrivals.

Will the administration be called racist and xenophobic for putting public safety first with this ban?  Doubtful.

https://twitter.com/DefiantLs/status/1464312822913982471
“Forcing Black Americans to make a decision to take the vaccine or lose their job is "completely unfair...” -Hank Newsome, Black Lives Matter

Fluffy Blue Monster

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Re: New variant
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2021, 01:57:50 PM »
Will the administration be called racist and xenophobic for putting public safety first with this ban?  Doubtful.

https://twitter.com/DefiantLs/status/1464312822913982471


That ban wasn’t Covid related. Which you either didn’t know, or you did know but just made an apples and oranges comparison for a political point.

Either way it makes you look pretty dumb. 
“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.”  -Clarence Darrow

reinko

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Re: New variant
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2021, 02:02:38 PM »
I’ve been a Scott Gottleib fan throughout the entirety of the pandemic, of course nothing definitive yet on the severity (if any) of this new variant.

https://twitter.com/scottgottliebmd/status/1464322510997049346?s=21

MU82

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Re: New variant
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2021, 02:13:32 PM »
I’ve been a Scott Gottleib fan throughout the entirety of the pandemic, of course nothing definitive yet on the severity (if any) of this new variant.

https://twitter.com/scottgottliebmd/status/1464322510997049346?s=21

Thanks, reinko. I appreciate Gottlieb, too, and this does give reason for optimism. But it's obviously too early to make any declarations, and this new variant does need to be taken seriously (and Gottlieb isn't saying anything different).
“A lot of the stuff that we believe in and that I’ve always believed in — it takes time. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not an instant-gratification thing. It’s a drip-by-drip process.”

-- Shaka Smart, in The Athletic, 10/13/21

Skatastrophy

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Re: New variant
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2021, 03:06:00 PM »
One infection of the new variant (B.1.1.529) was detected in Belgium. IMO that's that for global spread.

I read a while ago that the US has limited ability to test/identify for new variants, but I'm not sure how true that is.

https://www.demorgen.be/nieuws/een-besmetting-met-nieuwe-nu-variant-bevestigd-in-belgie-eerste-geval-in-europa~b6c1932d/

> One infection with the new corona variant B.1.1.529, dubbed the 'now variant', has been confirmed in our country. It concerns an unvaccinated traveler who returned from Egypt and tested positive on November 22. That is what Minister of Health Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit) says. "Caution is necessary, but don't panic." This is the first confirmed infection with the variant in Europe.

Warriors4ever

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Re: New variant
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2021, 04:05:55 PM »
A traveler from South Africa doing hotel quarantine in Hong  Kong passed it to another person doing quarantine across the hall. It showed up on the day four test for the first traveler, and the day eight test fir the second one.
Delta did the same in Australia several times.

Goose

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Re: New variant
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2021, 04:08:55 PM »
Gottlieb has been my gold standard guy since the pandemic broke. While I was happy to hear his thoughts on the new variant, the quick decisions made by countries and stock market response has me concerned. The concern level seems far greater than the other variants thus far. Definitely getting my booster next week.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2021, 04:17:05 PM by Goose »

Hards_Alumni

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Re: New variant
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2021, 04:16:38 PM »
Gottlieb has been my good standard guy since the pandemic broke. While I was happy to hear his thoughts on the new variant, the quick decisions made by countries and stock market response has me concerned. The concern level seems far greater than the other variants thus far. Definitely getting my booster next week.

Hopefully the vaccines are effective.  Too early to know.

JWags85

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Re: New variant
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2021, 07:30:59 PM »
I was in Belgium yesterday and will be back there tomorrow afternoon, so this will be interesting.  Given I’m 3 shots in and Belgium is heavy handed in their COVID protocol, I’m not overly concerned. 

My colleague told me Belgium instituted all bars and restaurants have a mandatory 11PM closing and no more than 6 per table.

My wife has a work trip 2 days after we get home she’s anxious about, but provided we get negative tests before heading back, which I’m sure we will, should be fine

Warriors4ever

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Re: New variant
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2021, 07:54:39 PM »
The US has added Belgium to its Do Not Travel list.
I understand some indoor Christmas Markets are being cancelled.

jesmu84

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Re: New variant
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2021, 07:56:10 PM »
I don't understand the curfew thing. Covid only comes out late at night?

Hards_Alumni

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Re: New variant
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2021, 08:24:47 PM »
I don't understand the curfew thing. Covid only comes out late at night?

work is essential, bars, restaurants, parties... not so much.

At least that is my thought process.

BTW the travel bans are stupid.  Either you shut down the borders to the US entirely, or you're wasting your time... assuming it isn't here already.  Which is more than likely is.

MU82

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Re: New variant
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2021, 09:28:23 PM »
I don't understand the curfew thing. Covid only comes out late at night?

The theory is that the later in the night it is, the less inhibited people are, the less likely they are to think even one iota about safety. But yeah, it seems kinda like window dressing.
“A lot of the stuff that we believe in and that I’ve always believed in — it takes time. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not an instant-gratification thing. It’s a drip-by-drip process.”

-- Shaka Smart, in The Athletic, 10/13/21

Warriors4ever

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Re: New variant
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2021, 07:14:17 AM »
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-59442149

Dozens of people test positive on a flight from South Africa to the Netherlands.

Fluffy Blue Monster

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Re: New variant
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2021, 08:15:58 AM »
It's so nice to remember that our country - as well as a conglomerate of first world countries - decided NOT to waive patent rights on the vaccines, which would have permitted significant production and vaccination across the globe. Which, in turn, would have reduced spread and decreased likelihood of mutations.

Unfettered capitalism baby!


The limits on vaccination in South Africa has been demand...not supply.  They have been turning away shots.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2021-11-24/exclusive-south-africa-delays-covid-vaccine-deliveries-as-inoculations-slow

"South Africa has asked Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer to delay delivery of COVID-19 vaccines because it now has too much stock, health ministry officials said, as vaccine hesitancy slows an inoculation campaign."
“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.”  -Clarence Darrow

Warriors4ever

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Re: New variant
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2021, 08:24:47 AM »
Yes that is true for South Africa in particular. Their demand has been low. Until this variant, they had a low rate of infection.
Many other countries though need vaccine assistance.

jesmu84

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Re: New variant
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2021, 08:40:26 AM »

The limits on vaccination in South Africa has been demand...not supply.  They have been turning away shots.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2021-11-24/exclusive-south-africa-delays-covid-vaccine-deliveries-as-inoculations-slow

"South Africa has asked Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer to delay delivery of COVID-19 vaccines because it now has too much stock, health ministry officials said, as vaccine hesitancy slows an inoculation campaign."

Mind providing updates for every other country on earth?

Fluffy Blue Monster

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Re: New variant
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2021, 08:46:03 AM »
Mind providing updates for every other country on earth?

You have the Google.

My point is that vaccine hesitancy is probably a larger problem than vaccine supply. 
“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.”  -Clarence Darrow

 

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