Some hope flicker appears in Omicron, but experts emphasize attention


People are waiting in a long line to get a free COVID-19 test at a local fire department in Washington on December 20, 2021.

Evelyn Hoxtine | Reuters

Rapid spread of Omicron variant of Covid-19 Experts say that governments around the world have been forced to impose strict containment measures, but there are some hopes for the data currently available.

It’s still too early to know for sure the severity of the subspecies, but previous studies have shown that, in the worst case, the damage it causes is similar to the previous subspecies and is likely to be mild. Is shown.

Recent data from South Africa, where the strain first appeared, seems to show some potential elements of good news in a comprehensive risk, along with research from Hong Kong and development from vaccine manufacturers. .. Also, hospitalization and mortality rates are much lower than in previous variants.

“We have antivirals that work against Omicron, vaccines that work to some extent and can improve, and immunochromatography that can check the status of infection in real time,” said Lawrence, a virologist and professor of oncology. Young told CNBC on Tuesday that Warwick University.

Nevertheless, medical professionals agree that the highly contagious virus poses a serious threat to the medical system, even if the symptoms are mild. This is because very high levels of infection can increase the number of people who need hospital care.

The World Health Organization has warned that Omicron infections are doubling every 1.5 to 3 days in areas with community infections, and this variant is currently detected in at least 89 countries.

Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, emailed CNBC on Tuesday, even if Omicron proved to be “mild” than other strains, but potential cases were hospitalized in the UK. He said it could double or triple the number of people in need. The virus is currently widespread and is of particular risk to unvaccinated individuals.

1. Promising T cell response

Young explained the findings on the body’s response to Omicron and highlighted certain precursory responses to avoid severe symptoms of the virus.

“Laboratory data show that the peacular mutant spike protein is relatively resistant to virus-blocking antibodies induced by vaccination or spontaneous infection, but the T cell response is highly conserved. It’s important to note that it’s likely to be, “he said.

This is because it targets a region of peplomer that is highly consistent between the Omicron variant and the original Wuhan virus on which the current vaccine is based, Young explained.

Preservation of the T cell response after the virus breaks through the outer defenses of the vaccine and enters the body reduces the risk of the host developing serious symptoms.

2. Low lung infection rate

A study from the University of Hong Kong, led by Dr. Michael Chan Chi-wai, found that Omicron was transmitted faster and more effectively than the Delta strain, which was previously predominant in the human bronchus.

However, the study, which is currently undergoing peer review, also found significantly lower lung omicron infections. This indicates that the effects on infected people may not be as serious.

In other words, it is more infectious, but less likely to be able to attack vulnerable parts of our anatomy.

However, Dr. Chan also said that the highly infectious virus “can cause more serious illness and death, even though the virus itself is less pathogenic,” as it only infects more people. ..

“Therefore, the overall threat from Omicron variants can be very important, combined with recent studies showing that Omicron variants can partially escape immunity from vaccines and past infections. It’s expensive, “he added.

However, Young emphasized that the findings in Hong Kong so far are “interesting but very preliminary.”

3. Booster works

Evidence suggests that vaccinated people, especially those who received booster shots, have a much lower risk of hospitalization and death from the new variant.

Some more promising news in this regard came on Monday, Modana The booster inoculation was announced to be effective against Omicron variants in laboratory tests.

Benjamin Cowling, a professor of public health at the University of Hong Kong, told CNBC on Monday that previous data show Delta and other previous variants in patients who have not been vaccinated or have not been vaccinated with the Omicron variant. Infected said that it has shown to cause about the same severity of the disease.

“If you have been vaccinated, if you have been infected before, there is some protection, especially against severe illnesses. That is, Omicron actually looks mild. We build it. It looks like a mild infection because of its immunity, not because the virus is particularly different in terms of its natural severity. “

Cowling explained that the vaccine provides two lines of defense. One is an antibody that protects against infection, and the other is a T cell that protects against serious illness in the event of a breakthrough infection.

“Getting a booster for the third dose strengthens the outer line of defense and probably returns to what it was six months ago. A third dose restores two lines of defense.”

However, Young emphasized that while booster data so far promises to be effective for severe symptoms, it does not necessarily rule out the potential for variants to strain the healthcare system.

“Latest preliminary modeling shows that booster jabs can provide about 85% protection against severe illness from Omicron-but it does not fully protect 15% of boosted individuals and vaccines. This means that it will be added to those who have not been vaccinated or boosted, this is a very large number of vulnerable individuals, “he said.

4. Decrease in hospitalization in South Africa

This proposal has been repeated in South Africa, where scientists first identified the virus in late November, but it may already exist in other countries around the world at the time.

The country experienced a surge in cases that appeared to peak in the hotspot Houten area approximately three weeks after initial detection.

Despite the surge in cases, the moving average of daily deaths remains low, indicating a sharp difference from previous waves and varieties.

At a press conference last week, Health Minister Joe Fara said only 1.7% of Omicron cases were hospitalized, compared to 19% when the Delta type appeared.

However, Fara also expressed concern about lower vaccination rates, suggesting that not only is Omicron less toxic, but vaccination and innate immunity are added to the protection of infected individuals from severe cases.

Young told CNBC, based on his experience in South Africa, “complexed by the fact that the average age of infected people is young, their immune status, and the summer in South Africa, which is affecting the spread of Omicron. There is a possibility. “

5. Development of antiviral drugs

Another possible green shoot to curb the effects of Covid is advances in antiviral drug development for high-risk populations such as immunosuppressed and cancer patients.

Pfizer Last week, it announced that its Paxlovid antiviral treatment was shown in a second-stage trial. Reduce the risk of hospitalization or death of high-risk patients by 89% When administered within 3 days of onset of symptoms, and 88% within 5 days.

UK drug regulators have recently approved the use of Xevudy, a monoclonal antibody produced by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology. Lagebrio (Molnupiravir)Created by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck Sharp & Dohme.

on Wednesday, The UK Government has confirmed that it has ordered an additional 2.5 million courses Of Paxlovid and 1.75 million Lagevrio for delivery during 2022.

Capacity of risky hospitals and unvaccinated are still very vulnerable

Altman, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, warned against keeping current data as a reason to give up attention.

A significant vulnerability highlighted by him and other experts remains unvaccinated. Hospitalization is biased towards some of the unvaccinated or one-time vaccinated population.

Looking specifically at Britain, he states: , “I didn’t have a green shoot yet,” he added.

Some hope flicker appears in Omicron, but experts emphasize attention

Source link Some hope flicker appears in Omicron, but experts emphasize attention

The post Some hope flicker appears in Omicron, but experts emphasize attention appeared first on Eminetra.


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