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Nightmare Omicron COVID variant is decrypting code to our immune system

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You may not know if you look around your unmasked face, but there are still so many things. New coronavirus there.And the virus mutates faster than ever and appears to be steadily producing More contagious variants and subvariants..

The evolutionary trend of SARS-CoV-2 may not mean a steady surge in infectious diseases, hospitalizations and mortality. Not at least everywhere, or for a very long time.

But it emphasizes the unpleasant truth: despite the removal of COVID restrictions. In most countries It’s not China, Despite the enthusiasm of many to overcome the pain and uncertainty of the last two years, the pandemic is not over. The virus is not mutated.

The latest subvariants are the most contagious to date. BA.4 and BA.5, both descendants of the Omicron variant, First appearance in South Africa last month. BA.2.12 and closely related BA.2.12.1 First appeared in New York Almost at the same time.

BA.4 and BA.5 10% improvement in infectivity Than their immediate predecessor, the BA.2 format Omicron. BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1 are 25% contagious. Equally surprising, just months after BA.2 became dominant, BA.4, BA.5, BA.2.12, and B.2.12.1 were rapidly gaining dominance in their respective origins. I have. Only a few months after BA.1 became dominant, BA.2 partially competed and replaced its parent, BA.1.

In other words, it seems that more and more major new subvariants are coming to us. In that sense, the virus may seem to beat the game of chance. Pathogens are becoming more contagious in the face of semi-permeable barriers to antibodies from vaccines and past infections.

Edwin Michael, an epidemiologist at the University of South Florida’s Center for Global Health Infectious Diseases Research, told The Daily Beast. “This will allow new variants to appear in the host population and spread more often.”

But this series of variants is one of the costs we pay for the expansion of the immune system of the entire population. You cannot have the latter without getting some of the former. So while COVID may appear to be winning, in reality, its genetic victory can be momentary.

Last year, Niema Mosiri, a geneticist at the University of California, San Diego, urged The Daily Beast to think of all COVID infections as slot machine-playing gamblers. Mosiri explained that individual infections tend to cause two mutations every two weeks. In other words, the virus wants to win a genetic jackpot that offers new advantages over other viruses and new ways to infect its host by pulling the lever twice a month.

“What if 50 million people pull the levers of slot machines at the same time?” Mosiri asked. “We expect at least one person to hit the jackpot pretty quickly. Now, replace the slot machine with a” clinically meaningful SARS-CoV-2 mutation. ” That is our current situation. “

To complete the metaphor, immunity is looming everywhere around it, adding a sense of urgency to the viral part. Sensing the threats around it, the new coronavirus is playing slots with unprecedented determination.

A man adjusts a COVID test tent at Times Square on April 27th.

Spencer Pratt / Getty

Throughout Virus waves and crashes No less than millions of active COVID cases have occurred in the last 30 months. There were tens of millions of co-infections between the worst surges in early 2021 and early 2022. Given the high mutation rate of SARS-CoV-2, it is no wonder that the virus has created a stable lineage of important new variants. “Lineage” is a scientific term.

While much of the world was just beginning to gain access to effective treatments and vaccines, there was Delta, a more virulent strain that drove the worst wave of infection in 2021. In late 2022, scientists in Botswana and South Africa discovered the first case of a new strain, Omicron.

Mutations along peplomers are part of the virus that help the virus grab cells and infect them, making Omicron more contagious than Delta. On the worst day of the Omicron wave on January 19, authorities aggregated more than 4 million new infections in just 24 hours. This is four times as many cases as counting the worst days of consecutive delta waves in January and April 2021.

In addition to strong global vaccination, tens of millions of protracted antibodies from past infections have blunted the worst results from Omicron. When Omicron first appeared, about half of the world’s approximately 8 billion people were vaccinated at least once. Today, more than two-thirds are at least partially jabed.

In addition to its natural antibodies from hundreds of millions of past infections, the immune barrier of human species is quite impressive. Breakthrough infections are common, but all of these antibodies are very good at preventing the virus from causing serious, potentially fatal illnesses.

Therefore, the number of cases increased as Omicron became dominant, but the number of deaths did not increase. On the worst day of the Omicron Surge on February 9, 13,000 people died worldwide. That’s 5,000 fewer than those who died on the worst day of the Delta on January 20, 2021.

More cases and less deaths, a phenomenon that epidemiologists call “decoupling,” have come to define the evolution of COVID as it is confused until the third year of the pandemic. There are signs that decoupling may actually be more extreme.After all, immunity leading to decoupling Also It spurs the virus and mutates it into a contagious line more quickly.

Immunity promotes mutants and can boost immunity by disseminating antibodies from mild infections. This is an accelerated positive feedback loop with antibody and viral strains as products.

Widening the gap between infection and death may actually be the best scenario, and the new coronavirus does not miraculously “self-destruct” by hitting a genetic corner. Many experts firmly believe that the dead end of evolution is wishful thinking when it comes to respiratory viruses. “I don’t think there’s a chance of self-destruction,” Jesse Bloom, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Washington, told The Daily Beast.

The bad news is that you probably need to learn to deal with the faster and faster appearance of the more contagious SARS-CoV-2 variants and subvariants.The good news is that we know how deal with. BA.4, BA.5, BA.2.12, and BA.2.12.1 have the ability to evade vaccine-induced natural antibodies. Experts call it “antigenic escape.”

Travelers at Los Angeles International Airport are covering their faces on April 18 after a federal judge in Florida has revoked the obligation of a national mask to cover planes and other public transport.

MediaNews Group / LongBeachPress-Telegram via Getty

Some antigenic escapes do not mean complete antigenics. Natural and vaccine antibodies still work. That is why death was separated from the case from the basic Omicron lineage. That’s why decoupling is likely to occur in the nasty little offspring of Omicron. Stephanie James, head of the COVID Testing Lab at Regis University in Colorado, told The Daily Beast:

So expect to hear more in the coming months as new strains and sub-strains emerge and become acceleratingly dominant. Whether you’re vaccinated or boosted, or have antibodies from past infections, don’t be surprised to catch one of them.

But don’t panic. If you keep up with your vaccination, you’re probably okay.

Of course, unless the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 is in a dangerous direction. Antigenic escape is fairly minor in all major and sublineages seen in the last two years. This does not mean that the virus has evolved and is unable to achieve antigenic escape. If the mutation is like a play slot for a pathogen and the jackpot is a new variant, the variant that can penetrate the antibody is the mega jackpot.

If the virus wins It Gambling, everything changes.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.thedailybeast.com/nightmare-omicron-covid-variants-are-cracking-the-code-to-our-immunity-systems

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