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Battle of COVID-19 mutations is critical – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-12-06 21:53:00 –

As variants of the Omicron coronavirus spread to southern Africa and emerge in countries around the world, scientists are worried about the battles that could determine the future of the pandemic. Can Delta’s latest competitors, who dominate the world, defeat it? Some scientists pondering data from South Africa and the United Kingdom suggest that Omicron could spawn a winner. “Although it’s still in its infancy, more and more data is starting to come in, suggesting that in many, if not all, Omicrons are likely to outperform the Delta,” led Harvard University. Dr. Jacob Lemie, who is monitoring variants of the collaborative research, said. Medical college. But some say it’s too early to know on Monday how likely Omicron could spread more efficiently than Delta, and if so, how fast it would take over. Matthew Vinicker, Dean of the Department of Clinical Virology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said: Many important questions about Omicron remain unanswered, such as whether the virus causes mild or severe illness, how much past COVID-19 illnesses and immunity from vaccines can be avoided. On the issue of diffusion, scientists point out what is happening in South Africa, where Omicron was first detected. Omicron’s speed of infecting people and achieving near control in South Africa is concerned that South Africa is at the beginning of a new wave that could overwhelm hospitals. The new variant rapidly moved South Africa from low infection rates to more than 16,000 cases per day on weekends, from an average of less than 200 new cases per day in mid-November. According to experts, Omicron accounts for more than 90% of new cases in Gauteng, the epicenter of the new wave. New variants are spreading rapidly and dominating in eight other states in South Africa. “The virus is spreading very quickly,” said Willem Hanecom, director of the African Institute of Health. “Looking at the slope of this wave we are in now, it is much steeper than the first three waves South Africa experienced. This is a virus that spreads rapidly and is therefore highly contagious. “But Hanecom, co-chair of the South African COVID-19 Variant Research Consortium, said the number of Delta cases in South Africa was very low when Omicron emerged. They say it’s unclear if Omicron will behave like South Africa in other countries. Lemieux has already mentioned some hints on how it works. In places like the UK, where many genome sequencing is done, “you can see what looks like a signal of an exponential increase in South Africa over the delta,” he said. In the United States, as in other parts of the world. “There is still a lot of uncertainty,” he said. “But when we put together the initial data, a consistent situation emerges. Omicron is already here and, based on what was observed in South Africa, could become the dominant strain in the coming weeks and months. There is a possibility. The number of cases can surge. ”We still don’t know what that means for public health. Early South African data, according to Hanecom, show that Omicron’s reinfection rate is much higher than in previous variants, suggesting that the virus has some evasion of immunity. Also, while the virus appears to infect young people, most unvaccinated, and most cases in hospitals have been shown to be relatively mild, Vinicker said He said the situation could vary by region and group of patients. “It would be really interesting to see what happens when more infections can occur in the elderly and those with underlying illnesses,” he said. “What are the consequences of these patients?” While the world is waiting for an answer, scientists suggest that people do everything they can to protect themselves. They should be vaccinated. ” “If people are eligible for boosters, then you need to get a booster and then do everything else we know is effective in reducing infections. The science department, Howard. Supported by the Science Education Department of the Hughes Medical Institute, AP is solely responsible for all content.

As variants of the Omicron coronavirus spread to southern Africa and emerge in countries around the world, scientists are worried about the battles that could determine the future of the pandemic. Can Delta’s latest competitors, who dominate the world, defeat it?

Some scientists have pondered data from South Africa and the United Kingdom, suggesting that Omicron could be the winner.

“Although it’s still in its infancy, more and more data is starting to come in, suggesting that in many, if not all, Omicrons are likely to outperform the Delta,” led Harvard University. Dr. Jacob Lemie, who is monitoring variants of the collaborative research, said. Medical college.

But some say it’s too early to know on Monday how likely Omicron could spread more efficiently than Delta, and if so, how fast it would take over.

Matthew Vinicker, Dean of the Department of Clinical Virology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said: ..

Many important questions about Omicron remain unanswered, such as whether the virus causes mild or severe illness, how much past COVID-19 illnesses and immunity from vaccines can be avoided.

On the issue of diffusion, scientists point out what is happening in South Africa, where Omicron was first detected. Omicron’s speed of infecting people and achieving near control in South Africa is concerned that South Africa is at the beginning of a new wave that could overwhelm hospitals.

The new variant rapidly moved South Africa from low infection rates to more than 16,000 cases per day on weekends, from an average of less than 200 new cases per day in mid-November. According to experts, Omicron accounts for more than 90% of new cases in Gauteng, the epicenter of the new wave. New variants are spreading rapidly and gaining control in eight other states in South Africa.

“The virus is spreading very quickly,” said Willem Hanecom, director of the African Institute of Health. “Looking at the slope of this wave we are in now, it is much steeper than the first three waves South Africa experienced. This is a virus that spreads rapidly and is therefore highly contagious. Indicates that there is a possibility. “”

However, Hanecom, co-chair of the South African COVID-19 Variant Research Consortium, said the number of Delta cases in South Africa was very low when Omicron emerged, “I don’t think we can say that.” ..

Scientists say it’s unclear if Omicron will behave like South Africa in other countries. Lemieux said he already has some tips on how it works. In places like the United Kingdom, where many genomic sequencings are done, “you can see what appears to be a signal of an exponential increase in Omicron beyond the delta,” he said.

In the United States, as in other parts of the world, “there is still a lot of uncertainty,” he said. “But when we put together the initial data, a consistent situation emerges. Omicron is already here and, based on what was observed in South Africa, could become the dominant strain in the coming weeks and months. There is a possibility. The number of cases may increase rapidly. ”

We still don’t know what that means for public health. Early South African data, according to Hanecom, show that Omicron’s reinfection rate is much higher than in previous variants, suggesting that the virus has some evasion of immunity. It also shows that the virus appears to infect young people, most of them unvaccinated, and most cases in hospitals were relatively mild.

However, Vinicker said the situation could be different in other parts of the world and in groups of patients. “It would be really interesting to see what happens when more infections can occur in the elderly and those with underlying illnesses,” he said. “What are the results of those patients?”

When the world is waiting for an answer, scientists suggest that people do everything they can to protect themselves.

“We want to make sure that people have as much immunity from vaccination as possible. Therefore, if people are not vaccinated, they should be vaccinated,” Remu says. I did. “If people are eligible for boosters, then you need to get a booster and then do everything else we know is effective in reducing infections.

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The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Science Education Department of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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