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

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  • sharon sanders
    replied

    Here’s What We Know About Omicron XE — The New Covid Variant Found In The U.K.

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  • sharon sanders
    replied

    XE recombination arrives



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  • sharon sanders
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    bump this

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  • sharon sanders
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    bump this

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  • Emily
    replied
    During the recent human rights protests in Canada, I was viewing some videos posted by a Canadian woman who had COVID about the time Omicron was circulating. A lot of other Canadians were sharing their experiences with the infection in the comments. All the symptoms and severity levels were similar to my experience in early 2020 with either the Wuhan strain or Alpha. They kept talking about what a strange experience it was - and that was the hallmark of the illness for me. The first exposure is a bizzare, "invasion of the body snatchers" experience.

    Most of Canada is vaccinated, so I assumed many of the Canadian commenters were vaccinated. If Omicron was a lot less severe than Alpha, it should have been much milder for these people. I wondered if the vaccine was causing ADE. The other possibility was that Omicron is as serious as Alpha. The fact that the death rates are lower could just be due to the grim fact that many vulnerables were killed during Delta.

    I saw this new study that supports Omicron being just as severe as the first two major iterations of SARS2 as far as hospitalization. It jives with my little collection of comparative anecdotes.

    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2119682
    February 17, 2022
    N Engl J Med 2022; 386:e14
    DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2119682
    Challenges in Inferring Intrinsic Severity of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant

    Although these studies were conducted in locations with very different case-ascertainment rates, after correcting for underascertainment, each study estimated that omicron was about 75% as likely as delta to cause hospitalization in an unvaccinated person with no history of SARS-CoV-2 infection.2,3 This meaningful but fairly small difference implies that omicron, alpha, and wild-type SARS-CoV-2 have similar intrinsic severity.

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  • sharon sanders
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    bump this

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  • Emily
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    Omicron is causing plenty of trouble in Hong Kong. I've always felt this was a 'pay now or pay later' virus. Hopefully it really is an overall less severe virus for the sake of zero-Covid countries. It's in the world's best interests for these countries to regain full functionality as soon as possible, IMO.

    https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/...ng-kong-exodus

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  • sharon sanders
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    I copied a few posts to this thread. The original posts are still in the same forums as posted by Mary Wilson.

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  • Mary Wilson
    commented on 's reply
    Why does the Omicron sub-variant spread faster than the original?

    Early studies suggest that the BA.2 lineage might prolong the Omicron wave, but won’t necessarily cause a fresh surge of COVID infections.

    16 February 2022

    Ewen Callaway

    COVID-19 researchers are rushing to understand why a relative of the main Omicron variant is displacing its sibling in countries around the world.

    The variant, known as BA.2, has spread rapidly in countries including Denmark, the Philippines and South Africa in the past few weeks. It follows the initial spread of the BA.1 Omicron variant of the virus SARS-CoV-2, which was first identified in southern Africa in late November and quickly spread worldwide.

    A laboratory study1 of BA.2 suggests that its rapid ascent is probably the result of it being more transmissible than BA.1. And other preliminary studies suggest that BA.2 can readily overcome immunity from vaccination and previous infection with earlier variants, although it is not much better than BA.1 at doing so.

    If real-world epidemiological studies support these conclusions, scientists think that BA.2 will be unlikely to spark a second major wave of infections, hospitalizations and deaths after Omicron’s initial onslaught.
    ...

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00471-2

  • Mary Wilson
    commented on 's reply
    Preprint: Virological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 BA.2 variant

    https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/...2-ba-2-variant

  • Mary Wilson
    commented on 's reply
    Preprint: Virological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 BA.2 variant

    https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/...2-ba-2-variant

  • Mary Wilson
    replied
    Updated 9:28 PM EST, Thu February 17, 2022

    By Brenda Goodman

    The BA.2 virus – a subvariant of the Omicron coronavirus variant – isn’t just spreading faster than its distant cousin, it may also cause more severe disease and appears capable of thwarting some of the key weapons we have against Covid-19, new research suggests.

    New lab experiments from Japan show that BA.2 may have features that make it as capable of causing serious illness as older variants of Covid-19, including Delta.

    And like Omicron, it appears to largely escape the immunity created by vaccines. A booster shot restores protection, making illness after infection about 74% less likely.

    BA.2 is also resistant to some treatments, including sotrovimab, the monoclonal antibody that’s currently being used against Omicron.

    ... BA.2 is highly mutated compared with the original Covid-causing virus that emerged in Wuhan, China. It also has dozens of gene changes that are different from the original Omicron strain, making it as distinct from the most recent pandemic virus as the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants were from each other.

    Kei Sato, a researcher at the University of Tokyo who conducted the study, argues that these findings prove that BA.2 should not be considered a type of Omicron and that it needs to be more closely monitored.

    ... because it doesn’t show up on PCR tests as an S-gene target failure, the way Omicron does. Labs therefore have to take an extra step and sequence the virus to find this variant.

    “Establishing a method to detect BA.2 specifically would be the first thing” many countries need to do, he says.

    ... The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 4% of Americans with Covid-19 now have infections caused by BA.2, but many other parts of the world have more experience with this variant. It has become dominant in at least 10 other countries: Bangladesh, Brunei, China, Denmark, Guam, India, Montenegro, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines, according to World Health Organization’s weekly epidemiological report. ...

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/17/healt...ity/index.html

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  • gsgs
    commented on 's reply
    omicron is more transmissable, it induces (shortterm) immunity in many people who are then
    also less likely to get delta.
    We may get some analysis, some papers which examine the sequences and separate the
    delta and omicron cases/hossp/ICU/deaths.
    In total omicron may have prevented more delta deaths than it caused omicron deaths
    in some regions.
    This wave and future waves .... i.e. in low-vaxed countries we'll see.

    --------------------------------------------------
    comparing with 1918 :
    after the bad years 1918-1920 in USA there was almost no flu in the 1920/1 season.
    After that it was milder, another decline in deaths since 1942 (1940 was flu-B)
    http://magictour.free.fr/ALL4A.GIF

  • sharon sanders
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  • Emily
    commented on 's reply
    gsgs, do you conclude that Omicron is genetically equally dangerous, or do you think the increased transmissibility is the cause of the case counts?
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