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Omicron - COVID-19 Variant (B.1.1529) a "Variant of Concern" & BA.2 sub-variant, XE

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  • #46
    https://www.cp24.com/world/south-afr...ease-1.5684008



    South African doctors seeing younger COVID-19 patients with more severe disease
    SA testing
    A person queues to be tested for COVID-19 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday Nov. 26, 2021. As the world grapples with the emergence of the new variant of COVID-19, scientists in South Africa — where omicron was first identified — are scrambling to combat its spread across the country. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)






    Andrew Meldrum, The Associated Press
    Published Saturday, November 27, 2021 10:47AM EST
    Last Updated Saturday, November 27, 2021 10:48AM EST
    JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Worried scientists in South Africa are scrambling to combat the lightning spread across the country of the new and highly transmissible omicron COVID-19 variant as the world grapples with its emergence.
    In the space of two weeks, the omicron variant has sent South Africa from a period of low transmission to rapid growth of new confirmed cases. The country's numbers are still relatively low, with 2,828 new confirmed cases recorded Friday, but omicron's speed in infecting young South Africans has alarmed health professionals.

    “We're seeing a marked change in the demographic profile of patients with COVID-19,” Rudo Mathivha, head of the intensive care unit at Soweto's Baragwanath Hospital, told an online press briefing.

    “Young people, in their 20s to just over their late 30s, are coming in with moderate to severe disease, some needing intensive care. About 65% are not vaccinated and most of the rest are only half-vaccinated,” said Mathivha. “I'm worried that as the numbers go up, the public health care facilities will become overwhelmed.”

    She said urgent preparations are needed to enable public hospitals to cope with a potential large influx of patients needing intensive care.

    “We know we have a new variant,” said Mathivha. “The worst case scenario is that it hits us like delta ... we need to have critical care beds ready.”

    What looked like a cluster infection among some university students in Pretoria ballooned into hundreds of new cases and then thousands, first in the capital city and then to nearby Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city.

    Studying the surge, scientists identified the new variant that diagnostic tests indicate is likely responsible for as many as 90% of the new cases, according to South Africa's health officials. Early studies show that it has a reproduction rate of 2 - meaning that every person infected by it is likely to spread it to two other people.

    The new variant has a high number of mutations that appear to make it more transmissible and help it evade immune responses. The World Health Organization looked at the data on Friday and named the variant omicron, under its system of using Greek letters, calling it a highly transmissible variant of concern.

    “It's a huge concern. We all are terribly concerned about this virus,” Professor Willem Hanekom, director of the Africa Health Research Institute, told The Associated Press
    .more
    ?The only security we have is our ability to adapt."

    Comment


    • gsgs
      gsgs commented
      Editing a comment
      Most were men aged under 40. Just under half were vaccinated.
      They also had mild muscle aches, a “scratchy throat” and dry cough, she said.
      Only a few had a slightly high temperature.
      These very mild symptoms were different to other variants,
      which gave more severe symptoms.
      Coetzee alerted health officials of a “clinical picture that doesn’t fit Delta”
      on November 18, when she received the first seven of her 30-odd patients.

  • #47
    https://twitter.com/itosettiMD_MBA/s...32270469525506

    Question answered - Rapid tests pick up Omicron variant.


    Sandra Ciesek

    @CiesekSandra
    Auch wichtig- die Antigentests (3 verschiedene von Roche, Siemens und Flowflex) sind auch bei Omicron positiv und funktionieren!
    Translated from German by
    Also important - the antigen tests (3 different ones from Roche, Siemens and Flowflex) are also positive and work at Omicron!
    ?The only security we have is our ability to adapt."

    Comment


    • #48

      The New York Times

      @nytimes
      ·
      5m
      At least 13 cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant were found among passengers on two flights on Friday from South Africa to the Netherlands. Health officials in Australia and Denmark on Sunday also confirmed cases of the variant in recent travelers.

      Comment


      • #49
        This is pretty much the understanding of everyone I have talked to. The experts do not know much yet.

        Dr. Tom Frieden

        @DrTomFrieden
        ·
        31m
        Data suggests Omicron may be even more easily spread than Delta (which was already 2X more transmissible than the original strain.) We don’t have data yet on whether or not Omicron causes more severe or less severe illness or can escape existing immunity. 5/

        ----------------------------------------------------------

        I have seen online a lot of theories about whether this variant is "real" or some ploy by governments, pharma, etc.

        I hope we have encouraged everyone to think for themselves on this site. We do not do mantras or cancel culture.

        Stay aware of the developing Omicron situation. Monitor hospitalization rates. As the northern hemisphere gets colder with Winter approaching, stay aware of the Delta variant in your area.

        Always use at least two sources for your information. Stay in touch with friends to see what they are experiencing. If you are questioning what is going on locally, one idea is to drive by your local hospital to see what is going on there (i.e. morgue trucks, lines of people, triage/treatment tents outside).

        Do not take any medical advice from the internet. If you have any medical questions, contact your medical practitioner.

        Only you can take care of you.

        Comment


        • #50
          Source: https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/omicron-...says-1.1688159

          18m ago
          Omicron ‘Pretty Mild’ So Far, South African Health Expert Says
          Loni Prinsloo, Bloomberg News


          (Bloomberg) -- Symptoms linked to the omicron coronavirus variant have been “pretty mild” so far, according to a Covid-19 adviser to the South Africa government.

          While South Africa, which first identified the new variant, currently has 3,220 people with the coronavirus infection overall, there’s been no real uptick in hospitalizations, Barry Schoub, chairman of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, told Sky News on Sunday.

          “The cases that have occurred so far have all been mild cases, mild-to-moderate cases and that’s a good sign,” said Schoub, adding that it was still early days and nothing was certain yet...

          Comment


          • #51



            See new TweetsConversation


            Christian Althaus

            @C_Althaus
            ·
            5h
            The mutational profile of Omicron suggests a potentially significant transmission advantage. But can we already say something about increased transmissibility or immune evasion? I'll give it a try. Warning: Preliminary and based on VERY limited data. 1/15

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            Christian Althaus

            @C_Althaus
            ·
            5h
            The observed rapid replacement of Delta by Omicron in the province of Gauteng in South Africa is suggestive of a transmission advantage. 2/15
            Quote Tweet

            Tulio de Oliveira
            @Tuliodna
            · Nov 25
            This new variant, B.1.1.529 seems to spread very quick! In less than 2 weeks now dominates all infections following a devastating Delta wave in South Africa (Blue new variant, now at 75% of last genomes and soon to reach 100%)
            Show this thread

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            Christian Althaus

            @C_Althaus
            Fitting a multinomial logistic regression model to the proportion of different variants in South Africa results in an estimated growth advantage of Omicron of 0.43 (95% CI: 0.15-0.72) per day compared to Delta. 3/15

            6:42 AM · Nov 28, 2021·Twitter for Mac
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            Tweet your reply

            Reply
            Christian Althaus

            @C_Althaus
            ·
            5h
            Replying to
            @C_Althaus
            .
            @TWenseleers
            obtained a similar estimate of 0.38 per day. There are lots of caveats: Targeted sequencing, stochastic effects in low incidence settings, and successive superspreading events could significantly bias these estimates. But let’s continue from here. 4/15
            Quote Tweet

            Tom Wenseleers
            @TWenseleers
            · 21h
            Replying to @Emmanuel_microb
            I also don't believe it is less severe. The growth rate advantage of Omicron vs Mu based on GISAID & SGTF data works out at 0.38/day [0.33-0.43] 95% CLs, which would correspond to it infecting ca. exp(0.38*4.7)=6.0 [4.7-7.5] x more people than Delta within one GT of the virus.



            Comment


            • #52



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              Christian Althaus

              @C_Althaus
              ·
              5h
              Assuming the same generation time, the transmission advantage could act at two levels: 1) increase in transmissibility, 2) immune evasion. We recently developed a mathematical framework to relate differences in growth rates to these properties. 5/15

              medrxiv.org
              A tale of two variants: Spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants Alpha in Geneva, Switzerland, and Beta in...
              Several SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) are spreading rapidly in different regions of the world. The underlying mechanisms behind their transmission advantage remain unclear. We measured viral...
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              Christian Althaus

              @C_Althaus
              ·
              5h
              A potential increase in transmissibility can be expressed as ρD/R_w, where X is the estimated growth advantage (0.43 per day), D the generation time (5.2 days), and R_w the effective reproduction of the previous variant (~ 0.8 in RSA during October). 6/15 https://ibz-shiny.ethz.ch/covid-19-re-international/…
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              Christian Althaus

              @C_Althaus
              ·
              5h
              This would result in an increased transmissibility of 280% (95% CI: 98-468%). With Delta having an R_0 = 5-6 in the Northern Hemisphere during winter, the R_0 of Omicron would be around 10-30. Not impossible, but such a jump seems rather unlikely. 7/15
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              Christian Althaus

              @C_Althaus
              ·
              5h
              If the transmission advantage acted via immune evasion only, the level of immune evasion would be ρD(1-Ω)/(ΩR_w), with Ω being the proportion of the population that has fully protective immunity against infection with earlier variants. 8/15



              Christian Althaus

              @C_Althaus
              ·
              5h
              South Africa records an excess mortality of 230k during the pandemic, which corresponds to 0.39% of the overall population (https://github.com/dkobak/excess-mortality…). We earlier estimated the infection fatality ratio for the population of South Africa to be 0.35% (https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-020-00649-w…). 9/15

              github.com
              GitHub - dkobak/excess-mortality: Excess mortality during COVID-19 pandemic
              Excess mortality during COVID-19 pandemic. Contribute to dkobak/excess-mortality development by creating an account on GitHub.
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              Christian Althaus

              @C_Althaus
              ·
              5h
              Hence, it is likely that almost everyone in South Africa has been infected with #SARSCoV2 and developed partial immunity against reinfection. In addition, 24% of the population have been fully vaccinated. 10/15

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              Christian Althaus

              @C_Althaus
              ·
              5h
              Thus, the proportion of the population that is fully protected (‘immune’) against infection and further transmission must be quite high. If we assume Ω = 75%, we get an immune evasion of 93% (95% CI: 32-100%), i.e., Omicron evades protective immunity in 93% of individuals. 11/15
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              Christian Althaus

              @C_Althaus
              ·
              5h
              For Ω = 90%, we obtain an immune evasion of 31% (95% CI: 11-52%) ‘only’. This clearly illustrates the current level of uncertainty about Omicron, and I want to emphasize again the preliminary character of these calculations. 12/15
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              Christian Althaus

              @C_Althaus
              ·
              5h
              Still, I do expect partial immune evasion to be the main driver of the observed dynamics, but increased transmissibility cannot be ruled out so far. 13/15
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              Christian Althaus

              @C_Althaus
              ·
              5h
              The developments in South Africa and observations from other countries during the coming days and weeks will allow us to shed more light on the properties of Omicron. 14/15
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              Christian Althaus

              @C_Althaus
              ·
              5h
              Finally, thanks for the amazing work from
              @Tuliodna
              ,
              @houzhou
              ,
              @rjlessells
              , and their colleagues in South Africa,
              @firefoxx66
              from
              @ISPMBern
              at
              @unibern
              for http://covariants.org,
              @richardneher
              and
              @trvrb
              for
              @nextstrain
              , and the many others working around the clock. 15/15

              covariants.org
              CoVariants
              SARS-CoV-2 Mutations and Variants of Interest
              5
              7
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              Comment


              • #53
                Source: https://www.timesofisrael.com/livebl...ied-in-israel/

                Second person carrying Omicron identified in Israel
                Today, 7:27 pm

                A second person in Israel has been confirmed to be carrying the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Health Ministry says.

                The woman entered Israel from South Africa recently, the ministry says. An Israeli citizen, she had been vaccinated three times, Channel 13 reports...

                Comment


                • #54
                  Hospitalizations in Gauteng SA have tripled in the last 2 weeks (ICU + 'High Care'). Disease doesn't seem 'mild' at all. [reference: Dr. E. Feigl-Ding]FFTcPdiXMAEZcGM?format=jpg&name=large.jpg

                  Comment


                  • gsgs
                    gsgs commented
                    Editing a comment
                    updated to 580. weekly hospiitalizations : 125,120,135,276,580,71 (last 2 weeks will be updated)
                    weekly positives : 593,547,426,737,2762 (expect an updated 10-20% increase for the last 2 weeks)
                    weekly positive rates 0.9%,0.9%,0.7%,1.1%,4.3%
                    promille increase yesterday in hospital admissions by age10group : 9,8,7,3,1,1,1,1,1,0
                    (all for Gauteng only)
                    {doesn't look milder than delta from these numbers}

                • #55
                  Welcome back silylene.

                  Comment


                  • #56
                    bump this

                    Comment


                    • #57



                      World Health Organization (WHO)

                      @WHO
                      ·
                      1h
                      "We don’t yet know whether Omicron is associated with more:
                      -transmission
                      -severe #COVID19 disease
                      -risk of reinfections
                      -risk of evading vaccines.
                      Scientists at WHO & around the (world) are working urgently to answer these questions"-
                      @DrTedros
                      #WHASpecial

                      Comment


                      • #58
                        Covid Omicron: No need to panic, South Africa minister says

                        Published1 hour ago
                        ...
                        Government adviser and epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim said he expected the number of cases to reach more than 10,000 a day by the end of the week, and for hospitals to come under pressure in the next two to three weeks.

                        Dr Phaahla said he wanted to "reiterate that there is absolutely no need to panic" because this "is no new territory for us".

                        "We are now more than 20 months' experienced in terms of Covid-19, various variants and waves," he added at a media briefing.
                        ...
                        Health experts said that Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg, had entered a fourth wave, and most hospital admissions were of unvaccinated people.
                        ...
                        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-59463879
                        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                        -Nelson Mandela

                        Comment


                        • gsgs
                          gsgs commented
                          Editing a comment
                          a new virus is created, presumably in an unknown South African immuno deficient patient
                          treated with antibodies.
                          it spreads quickly and pandemic waves around the world are expected with millions of deaths
                          and billions diseases and trillions of costs..
                          It has an unusual number of mutations not seen before and suggests that this may become
                          common now and will probably happen again.
                          And all that SA and WHO has to say is don't panic and complain about travel bans.

                      • #59
                        No media notice given on this prepared media event (Fauci standing next to President) - unless we were dropped off the list again....


                        President Biden:

                        do not to panic,
                        get vaccines and booster,
                        new vaccines are being developed if needed,
                        reminding on vaccines again,
                        US plan for winter does not include shut downs or lockdowns,
                        need to vaccinate the world,
                        US in better place in Dec. 2021 than Dec. 2020 because of vaccines,

                        Fauci briefly restates US entry policy.

                        Biden:

                        everyone should wear masks indoors unless eating or speaking at microphone,
                        urges vaccines and boosters again,
                        lockdowns off the table for now,
                        travel restrictions in place to give everyone a chance to get vaccines.

                        The end.


                        Comment


                        • #60

                          --President Biden's update on Omicron to the public was announced yesterday --

                          Biden told it will take two weeks to have definitive data on Omicron variant

                          November 28, 20218:02 PM CST
                          Last Updated a day ago


                          By Susan Heavey

                          ... Biden was due to update the public on the new variant and the U.S. response on Monday, the White House said. ...

                          https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-...source=twitter
                          _________________________________________________

                          Biden to address nation on Omicron variant as travel restrictions take effect


                          November 29, 2021 9:32am

                          By Mark Moore

                          President Biden will update the nation on his administration’s response to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on Monday, hours after travel restrictions targeting eight countries in southern Africa went into effect.

                          The president is scheduled to give remarks at 11:45 a.m. following a briefing with the White House pandemic response team, including chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci.

                          https://nypost.com/2021/11/29/biden-...-restrictions/

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