New Covid variant causes concern!

From: Razz (RAZZMAN)26 Nov 2021 11:20
To: Carl (SPARTACUS) 1 of 212
Here we go again! A new Covid variant discovered in South Africa is causing great concern. It seems to be much more courageous than the Delta variant. It has 30 mutations in the spike protein according to research done in South Africa. There's no word whether the vaccines will be effective against this new variant.

https://www.aol.com/news/explainer-covid-variant-south-africa-111307372-142856393.html

What is this new COVID variant in South Africa?

LONDON (AP) — WHAT IS THIS NEW COVID-19 VARIANT IN SOUTH AFRICA?

South African scientists have identified a new version of the coronavirus this week that they say is behind a recent spike in COVID-19 infections in Gauteng, the country’s most populous province. It's unclear where the new variant actually arose, but it was first detected by scientists in South Africa and has also been seen in travelers to Belgium, Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the variant was linked to an “exponential rise” of cases in the last few days, although experts are still trying to determine if the new variant, named B.1.1.529, is actually responsible.

From just over 200 new confirmed cases per day in recent weeks, South Africa saw the number of new daily cases rocket to 2,465 on Thursday. Struggling to explain the sudden rise in cases, scientists studied virus samples from the outbreak and discovered the new variant.

On Friday, the World Health Organization was convening a group of experts to assess the data from South Africa.

WHY ARE SCIENTISTS WORRIED ABOUT THIS NEW VARIANT?

It appears to have a high number of mutations — about 30 — in the coronavirus’ spike protein, which could affect how easily it spreads to people.

Sharon Peacock, who has led genetic sequencing of COVID-19 in Britain at the University of Cambridge, said the data so far suggest the new variant has mutations “consistent with enhanced transmissibility,” but said that “the significance of many of the mutations is still not known.”

Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick, described the variant as “the most heavily mutated version of the virus we have seen.” He said it was concerning that although the variant was only being detected in low levels in parts of South Africa, “it looks like it's spreading rapidly.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.' top infectious diseases doctor, said American officials had arranged a call with their South African counterparts later on Friday to find out more details and said there was no indication the variant had yet arrived in the U.S.

WHAT'S KNOWN AND NOT KNOWN ABOUT THE VARIANT?

Scientists know that the new variant is genetically distinct from previous variants including the beta and delta variants, but do not know if these genetic changes make it any more transmissible or dangerous.

South African scientists have noticed a surge of cases, but don't know if the new variant is responsible. It will take weeks to sort out if vaccines are still effective against it.

So far, there is no indication the variant causes more severe disease. South African experts said that as with other variants, some infected people don’t have any symptoms.

Even though some of the genetic changes in the new variant appear worrying, it's still unclear if the virus will pose a significant public health threat. Some previous variants, like the beta variant, initially concerned scientists but didn't end up spreading very far.

Francois Balloux, director of the Genetics Institute at University College London said it was impossible to make any predictions about whether or not the virus was more dangerous or infectious based on its genetic make-up alone.

HOW DID THIS NEW VARIANT ARISE?

The coronavirus mutates as it spreads and many new variants, including those with worrying genetic changes, often just die out. Scientists monitor COVID-19 sequences for mutations that could make the disease more transmissible or deadly, but they cannot determine that simply by looking at the virus. They must compare the pattern of disease in outbreaks to the genetic sequences. Determining whether there is an actual connection can take time.

Peacock said the variant “may have evolved in someone who was infected but could then not clear the virus, giving the virus the chance to genetically evolve," in a scenario similar to how experts think the alpha variant — which was first identified in England — also emerged, by mutating in an immune-compromised person.

ARE THE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS BEING IMPOSED BY SOME COUNTRIES JUSTIFIED?

Maybe. As of noon Friday, travelers arriving in the U.K. from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini and Zimbabwe will have to self-isolate for 10 days. European Union nations also moved quickly on Friday to try to stop air travel from southern Africa.

Given the recent rapid rise in COVID-19 in South Africa, restricting travel from the region is “prudent,” said Neil Ferguson, an infectious diseases expert at Imperial College London.

Balloux of University College London said that if the new variant turns out to be more infectious than delta, the new restrictions will have little impact but that they could still buy the U.K. some time to boost vaccination rates and roll out other possible interventions.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The World Health Organization has convened a technical group of experts to decide whether the new variant warrants being designated a variant of interest or a variant of concern. If they do, the variant will likely be named after a letter of the Greek alphabet, in line with the current naming system.

Variants of interest — which currently include the mu and lambda variants — have genetic changes known to affect things like transmissibility and disease severity and have been identified to cause significant clusters in multiple countries.

Variants of concern — which include alpha, beta and delta — have shown they can spread more easily, cause more serious disease or make current tools like vaccines less effective.

To date, the delta variant remains by far the most transmissible form of COVID; it accounts for more than 99% of sequences shared with the world's biggest public database.

 
EDITED: 26 Nov 2021 11:21 by RAZZMAN
From: Carl (SPARTACUS)27 Nov 2021 12:26
To: Razz (RAZZMAN) 2 of 212
Just face it. Either we are all gonna die or this covid will be around forever. Take your pick.
From: Razz (RAZZMAN)27 Nov 2021 19:20
To: Carl (SPARTACUS) 3 of 212
I had the thought that the medical experts (like Fauci) are not warning us that this could very well be with us for our lives. Also, every Covid variant is worse and less of a chance that the vaccine will work. They don't want to create a mass panic. Wall Street was panicking on Black Friday with the news of this new variant. 
From: Carl (SPARTACUS)27 Nov 2021 19:34
To: Razz (RAZZMAN) 4 of 212
The world is ending. Get omma and food stuffs if you want to survive the end of days.
From: Razz (RAZZMAN)27 Nov 2021 19:56
To: Carl (SPARTACUS) 5 of 212
I watched the Unexplained today with William Shatner. It was about the end of the world, and Shatner talked about asteroids, black holes and super volcanoes causing mass extinction. Maybe that will make this Covid extinct.

https://play.history.com/shows/the-unxplained/season-3/episode-4
EDITED: 27 Nov 2021 19:57 by RAZZMAN
From: Carl (SPARTACUS)28 Nov 2021 09:56
To: Razz (RAZZMAN) 6 of 212
Shatner will say anything about anything except how his wife died in a swimming pool.
From: Razz (RAZZMAN)28 Nov 2021 11:17
To: Carl (SPARTACUS) 7 of 212
He hasn't mentioned his flight into space recently. Wondering if he'll talk about that on his show?

One thing they didn't mention was our sun becoming a supernova or gigantic solar flares.
From: Carl (SPARTACUS)28 Nov 2021 14:31
To: Razz (RAZZMAN) 8 of 212
Well, if I heard the sun would turn nova, I would increase my fire insurance for sure.
From: Razz (RAZZMAN)28 Nov 2021 15:46
To: Carl (SPARTACUS) 9 of 212
I think it may be hard to get cheap fire insurance in California these days. As for Supernova insurance, it could be pretty cheap as the chance of that happening is near zero percent.
From: Carl (SPARTACUS)29 Nov 2021 08:54
To: Razz (RAZZMAN) 10 of 212
I heard no one has been hospitalized from the Omicron variant. According to the Greek alphabet, and they are naming the variants in order, it should be Xi. Apparently, China would not of been happy.
From: Razz (RAZZMAN)29 Nov 2021 10:24
To: Carl (SPARTACUS) 11 of 212
China has been investing heavily in weapons of mass destruction. It makes sense that they developed a biological weapon also.

Right now, the scientists are baffled about this Omicron variant. They're not sure how contagious it is or if it is more deadly than Delta. I'm sure they're going to say to get your booster shots because it is effective against this virus. I predict it will be just 20% effective.
From: Carl (SPARTACUS)29 Nov 2021 10:46
To: Razz (RAZZMAN) 12 of 212
These viruses over time diminish in strength. At least, that is what transpired in the past. Good news is Hocul reacted quickly and stopped minor surgeries. I wish she would reduce taxes as quickly.
From: Razz (RAZZMAN)29 Nov 2021 12:07
To: Carl (SPARTACUS) 13 of 212
Quote: 
I wish she would reduce taxes as quickly.
 
You and me both. Taxes are way too high in NYS. My son said that recent news is that this new Covid variant may be more contagious but not as deadly.
From: Carl (SPARTACUS)29 Nov 2021 17:40
To: Razz (RAZZMAN) 14 of 212
I heard very few if any are hospitalized. 
From: Razz (RAZZMAN)29 Nov 2021 19:35
To: Carl (SPARTACUS) 15 of 212
One thing I thought of was if this variant isn't as severe as the other strains, maybe this will work even better to get people immune than even the vaccine. If it is only as bad as a cold, then bring it on and the immunity will probably last at least a year....probably for all variants.
From: Carl (SPARTACUS)30 Nov 2021 09:13
To: Razz (RAZZMAN) 16 of 212
Good point. Personally, I think they hype the variant as the rate of vaxxes is dropping along with the booster shots.
From: Razz (RAZZMAN)30 Nov 2021 10:10
To: Carl (SPARTACUS) 17 of 212
My neighbor was arguing this summer that he read a report out of Israel that proved that those who got immunity from having Covid were more protected than those who get the shot. Who actually knows?

There are so many unanswered questions with all these Covid variants and how effective the vaccine actually is.
From: Carl (SPARTACUS)30 Nov 2021 10:42
To: Razz (RAZZMAN) 18 of 212
Natural immunity is something you do not hear the CDC talk about. Scott Atlas just came out with a book that the CDC is a health organization supposedly but only is dealing with vaxxes and Covid.

This is a good read and makes a lot of sense to me.

https://brownstone.org/articles/a-president-betrayed-by-bureaucrats-scott-atlass-masterpiece-on-the-covid-disaster/
From: Razz (RAZZMAN)30 Nov 2021 11:12
To: Carl (SPARTACUS) 19 of 212
That's an interesting article. It proves that this whole pandemic could have been handled much better. When these "scientists and experts" are giving advice, you have to look deeply into what their objective is Of course, the big pharm industries like Pfizer benefited greatly.
From: Carl (SPARTACUS)30 Nov 2021 12:05
To: Razz (RAZZMAN) 20 of 212
Absolutely. The response became more political than Science and that was the first mistake.