Wednesday, May 18, 2022

New Omicron variants

"In recent months, scientists have identified multiple new Omicron subvariants of SARS-CoV-2. First spotted in South Africa and the United States, the subvariants—BA.4, BA.2.12.1, and BA.5—have driven new upticks in cases in both nations. The new versions of Omicron are even better at evading the protection offered by vaccines, a previous infection, or a combination of the two. So far, it’s unclear whether the new subvariants will drive a spike in cases worldwide as their predecessors, the Omicron BA.1 and then BA.2 strains, did this past winter and spring, respectively.

“We’re definitely entering a resurgence in South Africa, and it seems to be driven entirely by BA.4 and BA.5,” Penny Moore, a virologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, tells Science. “We’re seeing crazy numbers of infections. Just within my lab, I have six people off sick.”

So let's see what the Biden administration does about this.  More fear and panic.  Forced closures?  Mask mandates.  It's obvious from the number of publicized cases of fully vaxxed plus 2 boosters (like Jen Psaki, Kamala Harris and Bill Gates), that this is highly infections and seems to laugh off the vaccines.

"Nature reports that if SARS-CoV-2 continues along this path, its evolution could resemble that of respiratory illnesses that are seasonal and come in waves. The coronavirus’s pattern of infection may also become more predictable, as new mutations in the virus exploit vulnerabilities in population-wide immunity, driving periodic waves of infection. “It is probably what we should expect to see more and more of in the future,” Moore tells Nature. Scientists may get better at predicting how long immunity to COVID-19 will last and when waves will hit."

The New York Times reports similar fears: “…A virus that shows no signs of disappearing, variants that are adept at dodging the body’s defenses, and waves of infections two, maybe three times a year — this may be the future of Covid-19, some scientists now fear. The central problem is that the coronavirus has become more adept at reinfecting people. Already, those infected with the first Omicron variant are reporting second infections with the newer versions of the variant — BA.2 or BA2.12.1 in the United States, or BA.4 and BA.5 in South Africa. Those people may go on to have third or fourth infections, even within this year, researchers said in interviews. And some small fraction may have symptoms that persist for months or years,

"It seems likely to me that that’s going to sort of be a long-term pattern,” said Juliet Pulliam, an epidemiologist at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. “The virus is going to keep evolving,” she added. “And there are probably going to be a lot of people getting many, many reinfections throughout their lives.”

No comments: