What are you worried about the variant?
Experts say it’s “the worst mutant I’ve ever seen” and I’m wary of the number of mutations it carries.
The variant, named Omicron by the World Health Organization, has 32 mutations in the peplomer, the highest number ever recorded, and twice as many mutations as the currently predominant delta strain.
Experts fear that this change could reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine by 40% in the best scenario.
This is because many of the changes in B.1.1.529 are in the viral spike proteins.
The current harvest of the vaccine triggers the body to recognize spike versions from older versions of the virus.
There are about 50 mutations in Botswana variants, more than 30 of which are in pesplomers. The current harvest of the vaccine triggers the body to recognize a version of the peplomer from an older version of the virus. However, mutations may make the peplomer look very different, so the body’s immune system has a hard time recognizing it and fighting it off. And three of the spike mutations (H665Y, N679K, P681H) help it enter more easily into the cells of the body. On the other hand, experts believe that the lack of the membrane protein (NSP6) found in the early iterations of the virus may make the virus more infectious. In addition, there are two mutants (R203K and G204R) that are present in all mutant strains of concern and are associated with infectivity.
However, peaplomers look so different in new strains that the body’s immune system can have a hard time recognizing and fighting them off.
It also contains the mutations found in the Delta variant, making it easier to spread.
Experts warn that the virus does not know how infectious it is for at least two weeks and may not be aware of its impact on Covid’s hospitalization and death for up to six weeks.
What are the mutations in the variant?
There are more than 50 mutations in Botswana variants, of which more than 30 are in pesplomers.
It carries the “rarely seen together” mutations P681H and N679K, which can make it even more jab resistant.
These two mutations, along with H655Y, can also make it easier for the virus to invade cells in the body.
And the mutant N501Y may make the strain more contagious, and was previously seen, especially in the Kent’alpha’variant and beta.
The other two mutations (R203K and G204R) may increase the infectivity of the virus, but the mutations missing from this variant (NSP6) may increase its infectivity.
It also has the same mutations K417N and E484A as the South African “beta” mutants, so it can dodge the vaccine.
However, there are also N440K found in Delta and S477N, a variant of New York. This is associated with a surge in cases in the state in March and is associated with antibody escape.
Other mutations it has include G446S, T478K, Q493K, G496S, Q498R and Y505H, but their importance is not yet clear.
Is it a variant of concern?
The World Health Organization has classified the virus as a “variant of concern”. This is the label attached to the highest risk stock.
This means that WHO experts have concluded that the mutation spreads it faster, causing more serious illness or hindering protection from the vaccine.
Where have the variants been detected so far?
So far, this variant has been found in five countries: South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium.
Most cases have been found in Gauteng, a state in northeastern South Africa where Johannesburg is based.
The first case was uploaded by Hong Kong to the international variant database GISAID and discovered by those who traveled to this country from South Africa.
No cases have been seen in the UK. However, scientists do not sequence all positive Covid samples in the UK, and not everyone who catches the virus is tested.
This means that there may be people infected with the variant in the UK.
What is the UK doing about this variant?
The Minister of Health announced last night that six countries would be added to the Red List from noon on Friday, November 26th.
The countries on the Red List are South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe. This means that all direct flights from these countries to the United Kingdom are prohibited.
Those arriving in the UK between noon and Sunday 4am today from these countries, or those arriving in the UK in the last 10 days, will need to fill out a passenger locator form, quarantine at home and undergo a PCR test. I have.
Those arriving from these countries after 4 am on Sunday will stay in a controlled quarantine hotel for 10 days, take the Covid test on or before the second day of their stay, and take another test after the eighth day. is needed.
The UK Health and Security Agency has also classified B.1.1.529 as a variant under investigation. This means that mutations are a concern.
Experts may perform risk assessments and rank higher in the variant of concern if they are found to be more infectious, cause more serious illness, or reduce the effectiveness of vaccines or drugs.
Where did B.1.1.529 first appear?
The first case was uploaded by Hong Kong on November 23 to the international variant database GISAID. Those with the new variant were traveling from South Africa to the country.
The United Kingdom was the first country to identify potential threats to the virus and warn other countries.
Since then, 77 cases have been confirmed in South Africa, 2 cases in Hong Kong and 3 cases in Botswana.
The Israeli health director today announced that one case of B.1.1.529 was confirmed and there were two suspicions, but there are two suspicions in Belgium.
Experts believe that this strain may have originated in Botswana, but since many positive samples are not sequenced on the African continent, it may not be possible to know where the variant first appeared.
François Barrow, a geneticist at the University College of London, told MailOnline that the virus may have emerged from a prolonged infection in immunocompromised patients, perhaps undiagnosed AIDS patients.
In patients with weakened immunity, the infection can last for months because the body cannot fight it off. This gives the virus time to acquire mutations that allow it to evade the body’s defenses.
Will I be protected if I have a booster?
Scientists have warned that new strains could reduce the effectiveness of the Covid vaccine by 40%.
However, they said that with the advent of mutant variants, it would be even more important to get booster jabs as soon as people qualify for booster jabs.
Vaccines induce neutralizing antibodies. This is the best defense available against new variants. Therefore, experts said that the more of these antibodies, the better the person.
Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health in the United Kingdom, said:
When do you know more about variants?
Data on how contagious the new variants are and their impact on hospitalization and mortality are still weeks away.
The United Kingdom has provided support to South Africa, where most cases are concentrated, to collect this information and believe that in a few weeks we will learn more about infectivity.
However, it may take four to six weeks for them to know more about hospitalization and death.
What is a variant called?
The strain was scientifically named B.1.1.529 on November 24, the day after it was discovered in Hong Kong.
Subspecies that have been officially named so far include alpha, beta, delta, and gamma.
Experts from the World Health Organization on November 26 named the variant Omicron.
Authorities say people who get a second jab or booster in the last six months are protected from Omicron
Source link Authorities say people who get a second jab or booster in the last six months are protected from Omicron