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  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Omicron, data from South Africa.

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
As you may know, there is a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa, called omicron (the Greek letter). It is considerably more contagious than the previous variant, called delta (another Greek letter).

Considerably more contagious means "about as bad as varicella" (chickenpox and shingles). Varicella infects about 90% of the population of temperate climates.

Preliminary results also appear to indicate that the protection offered by available vaccine is reduced with omicron. Note that a reduced protection is still better than no protection at all, so please get your shot.

The ominous question is, of course, whether it is as lethal as previous variants. That, we do not know yet, but some preliminary results can be found below:

 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
It might be a blessing that Omicron displaces the apparently more lethal Delta strain and scares more folk to getting immunized.

Still, I wish they would make immunization compulsory like smallpox vaccination was in the early 1900s in the USA!

Also I would love to see a surcharge for unvaccinated who get Covid as they use a bed in the hospital that puts pressure on bed and resources for other folk sick with cancer or other illnesses.


Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Well, I was wrong apparently!

Not such a clear blessing as the CDC predicts doubling of USA cases every2 days and soon 15,000 deaths per week. So the rate of infection overwhelms health resources!
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
CDC says it’s far too early to know whether Omicron is in fact a weaker but more infectious pathogen.

What’s obvious is that we can only predict for those factors which are predictable!
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Indeed we do not know. Preliminary results from South Africa are encouraging, but the population is young and it is late spring over there. What will happen with the older population of Europe and North America this winter may be different.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Recent indications from UK suggest little difference from Delta except rapid spread. We’ll know within 2 months, I expect.

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Jérôme,

I did suggest elsewhere here that the Omicron variant could have evolved in an isolated chronically ill housebound person.

3E34E270-2FE9-418F-8364-72B80A92E236.jpeg

Well, South African scientists are now on that path of investigation. It does indeed appear that the variants do indeed occur as I suggested but in HIV patients not fully medicated so their immune response to Covid-19 is limited and they have continuous infection with Covid-19 mutating repeatedly in that one person, as I suggested! Read more here!

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
I am still not quite convinced.
I agree that viruses can infect a person with compromises immunity for a long time. I also agree that the longer a virus replicates, the more likely the mutations are.
But we are talking about a relatively long period where an individual was infected with a highly contagious virus. One would expect that there were a cluster of cases for months around that person. That would normally have been noticed, wouldn't it?
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I am still not quite convinced.
I agree that viruses can infect a person with compromises immunity for a long time. I also agree that the longer a virus replicates, the more likely the mutations are.
But we are talking about a relatively long period where an individual was infected with a highly contagious virus. One would expect that there were a cluster of cases for months around that person. That would normally have been noticed, wouldn't it?
Isolated lonely fringe of society neglected people!
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
It looks more and more like my hypothesis is collecting support. Folk socially isolated with chronic immune deficiency, like inadequately treated HIV patients, can grow such Omicron-like multiply-mutated variants as fast as 15 days.

Asher
 

James Lemon

Well-known member
It looks more and more like my hypothesis is collecting support. Folk socially isolated with chronic immune deficiency, like inadequately treated HIV patients, can grow such Omicron-like multiply-mutated variants as fast as 15 days.

Asher
I suspect that variants that elude the immune system do develop in such people, but they come with a host of other changes that make them less able to transmit from person to person.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I suspect that variants that elude the immune system do develop in such people, but they come with a host of other changes that make them less able to transmit from person to person.
Not so, we have already several US and South African HIV patients that are well studied as incubators for infectious mutants!

Now it’s a matter of further studying this phenomenon!
 
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