Let’s clear one misconception. Viruses are not like the deodorant on your armpits or a fart in the room. They don’t necessarily automatically get weaker over time. In fact, it is often quite the opposite. Mutations and natural selection can help later versions of the virus get stronger and stronger in various ways, which appears to be happening with Covid-19. And the Eric Topol, MDfounder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, called the currently circulating version, the Omicron BA.5 sub variant, “the worst version of viruses we’ve seen.”
Yes, calling BA.5 is the worst call-like version The last knight the worst transformers movie o Police Academy: Mission to Moscow worst of police Academy Movies. It’s the worst version of what has been getting progressively worse, and you never know when another worse version will emerge. Topol used the word “worst” in Minor publication entitled “The BA.5 Story” Which he linked in the following tweet:
Spoiler alert. The “BA.5 story” is not a positive story for the United States at the moment, unless more people and politicians can somehow change the “let’s pretend it’s over and there isn’t” approach to the pandemic that may work with zits but not work with Covid- 19. As you can see, Topol questioned in a tweet why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not issued more warnings about the Omicron BA.5 variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
After all, there is no indication that BA.5 will be any less problematic than previous versions of the virus. as covered for Forbes Back on May 17, data already indicated that BA.5 was more transmissible than its predecessors, prompting the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to reclassify BA.5 as a variant of concern (VOC). Therefore, it was not surprising that BA.5 tended to become the dominant version of the virus in different parts of the world. About a week ago, on June 27, Eric Weigel-Ding, Ph.D., Epidemiologist and Chair of the COVID Risk Task Force at the New England Institute of Complex Systemstweet it Some charts from John Burn-Murdoch of financial times BA.5 elevations in hospitals in Europe show:
BA.5 now appears to be fueling a new wave of Covid-19 in New York City (NYC). A tweet from Jay Pharma, MD, professor at Weill Cornell Medical College and former senior public health advisor to the President of New York City, showed just how loud things are in NYC, but not in a good way:
And unlike that weekend in Las Vegas that featured a tooth and a tiger and Mike Tyson, in this case, what happens in NYC isn’t going to stay in NYC. A wave in New York City would likely trigger similar waves across the United States
This has been the case throughout the pandemic, with new and more transmissible versions of SARS-CoV-2 replacing previous versions and causing new outbreaks. But what might be particularly worrying about BA.5 is how different its structure is from that of previous Omicron variants that appeared last winter and how quickly those changes can occur. Topol pointed to studies showing that the differences between the BA.5 Omicron and BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron subvariants are much greater than the differences between the Delta, Beta, Gamma and the original version of the virus that started this whole epidemic. Keep in mind that there was a full year and a half between the original release and the Delta variant, while the BA.5 came out less than half a year after the first Omicron was released.
for example, Posted in Immunology Cited by Topol, he provided an antigenic map of spike proteins for the different major versions of SARS-CoV-2 that have emerged since early 2020. An antigen map is a graph that shows how the structures of different proteins are similar versus different. The map shows how the BA.5 spike protein differs from the BA.1 and BA.2 spike proteins and how this difference is much larger than the differences between the original virus spike protein and the spike proteins for delta, beta, and gamma variants.
As pointed out by Topol, the biggest concern is that BA.5 is potentially a so-called immune escape. This is a situation where the virus looks so different from previous versions that no existing immune protection you may have adequately recognizes this new version of the virus.
To understand the concept of immune escape, imagine dating someone in college turns out to be a nightmare. You imprint this person’s behaviors and surface characteristics such as his or her appearance in your head. Never tell yourself again, that you will recognize the warning signs much earlier. For example, if this person wears their hair in a wavy, mullet, or bouffant style, which is a cross between tousled and mullet, you might say that you will never go back to dating someone with such a hairstyle again. You might equate a bullet with danger, for example. As former US President George W. Bush once said, “Fool me once, shame, shame on you. Fool me…You can’t be fooled again.” Well, what if another person enters your life, someone with a completely different appearance but a toxic personality similar to that of college. If you were so focused on researching shullets, would you realize that they are still the same character who made you so sad in college? Your guard might be frustrated just because the person looks different.
Along the same lines, will your immune system recognize BA.5 because it is so different from previous versions that your immune system may have been exposed through a previous vaccination or infection? The differences aren’t just in the spike protein. As the Outbreak.info website explains, BA.5 includes mutations that alter other parts of the virus as well. What is the evidence that these differences may lead to the “immune escape” of the virus? Well, Topol pointed to a file Published in cell which showed how the antibodies against the BA.1 variant did not neutralize the BA.4 and BA.5 sub variants well.
One way to deal with this immune escape variant is to update Covid-19 vaccines to include the mRNA of the spike protein variant BA.5. But as Topol pointed out in his Substack post, there are many issues. First of all, Moderna and Pfizer focused on updating the vaccines to take into account the first Omicron variants, which Topol indicated were already very different from BA.5. By the time these updated early Omicron vaccines are available in late summer, early fall, there could be a new, even more different alternative to BA. Rather than staying proactive and ahead of the curve, anticipating what might happen in the near future, America’s public health response has often been a reaction, wait for it to happen, and then explain away.
Second, political leaders are not convincing enough people to get boosters for existing Covid-19 vaccines. As the CDC Covid Data Tracker explainsOnly 47.8% of the population received the first booster dose, and only 33.7% of those 65 years and older received the second booster dose. Without imposing vaccination requirements, these vaccination rates are not likely to increase significantly until after another surge occurs and many people have died or have long-term contracted with Covid with an eye on the word after, after. Additionally, how many people will end up getting an updated Omicron vaccine soon enough to prevent another surge in fall and winter?
Finally, with politicians abandoning other Covid-19 precautions such as requirements for face masks as if they were soiled underwear, the lack of other Covid-19 precautions will allow the virus to continue to spread widely and new variants and subvariants to emerge more quickly. After all, cloning SARS-CoV-2 is like trying to film your ass while drunk. Every time it tries to clone its genetic material and itself, the virus can make mistakes in the form of mutations. Thus, the more the virus replicates or replicates, the more mutations it may produce, and the more different variants can appear. It would be better for face mask wearing, high vaccination rates, and other multi-layered precautions for Covid-19 to slow the spread of the virus so that vaccine development and manufacturing can catch up and instead stay ahead of the curve.
Again, it is highly unlikely that SARS-CoV-2 will get weaker over time. This would be like expecting different animal and plant species to weaken over time. Instead, natural selection works in reverse. What can become even stronger is the immune protection against the virus, which can be better achieved through vaccination unless you want all those who die and risk the Covid virus for a long time. There is a need for a better and greater range of vaccines and methods of vaccination. Scientists just need the time, resources, and support of politicians to catch up and stay ahead of the curve.