A Newer, More Dangerous Mutant Virus Strain Is Coming? – BlogsSoft


A Newer, More Dangerous Mutant Virus Strain Is Coming? - BlogsSoft


                 Since the relaxation of the new crown epidemic prevention measures in China, the number of infections has exploded. From the strict lockdown to the instant large-scale outbreak of cases, experts believe that the severe situation China is currently facing is unprecedented, and it has also triggered questions about how the new crown virus will evolve, whether it will give birth to new virus strains, and the spread of new strains A series of concerns such as whether the sex and pathogenicity will be stronger.

                “It’s unprecedented. I mean, it’s really, really unique, really unprecedented.” Ziyad Al-Aly, director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology at Washington University in St. Louis, told VOA in an interview explain. He warned that if this continues, the Chinese New Year is just weeks away and infections will soar further.

                 The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine in the United States recently predicted based on data from the previous period that, in the absence of re-imposition of control measures, there will be a single-day death rate in China every day before March 1 next year. The number of infections could be as many as 4.6 million.

Increased probability of virus mutation

                  As early as when China was still strictly implementing the “zero-clearing” policy, some experts warned that although the policy can control the number of infection cases to a very low level, it also weakens the immunity of the group. There will be a tsunami-like outbreak of cases, and the surge in the epidemic in a short period will lead to a higher probability of virus mutation.

                  “The key now is that the number of infections in China is exploding,” said Al Ali of Washington University in St. Louis.

                   He said that every time someone is infected, it may be an opportunity for the virus to mutate, so a large and explosive increase in cases will undoubtedly increase the possibility of new mutations. “You know, the (so many) numbers of infections in China in such a short period raises the odds of a new mutated version. We haven’t seen it (new strains) yet, but the odds are really increasing dramatically right now, just because the number of infections exploded very quickly in a very, very short period.”

                   “When a virus spreads widely in the population and causes many people to be infected, the possibility of virus mutation increases.” The World Health Organization’s Chinese explanation for the question “What causes the virus to change into a new mutant strain?” “When a virus spreads widely in a population and infects many people, the chances of the virus mutating increases. The more chances the virus has to spread, the more chances it has to replicate, and the more chances it has to change.”

                    Al-Ali said there has not yet been seen a surge in infection that has unleashed the new coronavirus mutants, but the odds are “certainly rising dramatically right now.”

                    Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, also believes that the current outbreak of infection is likely to prompt the emergence of new mutant viruses. “The uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 among a large unvaccinated or under-vaccinated population in China may do this (promote new variants), similar to unvaccinated India in early 2021,” he said in a tweet. The presence of Delta in the crowd.”

                    The mutated strain of the new coronavirus, Delta, first discovered in India in October 2020, is considered to be one of the driving factors of the second wave of the epidemic in India. Last year, it became the main epidemic strain in more than 100 countries.

                    On the other hand, some experts expressed doubts about the times. Although China’s domestic vaccines are generally considered to be inferior to Western mRNA versions, official data say that China’s vaccination rate is relatively high, with 90% of the population vaccinated. Jin Dong-yan, a professor of biochemistry at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, told VOA that in theory, having so many people infected for a short period would increase the risk of new mutant strains, “but in reality it is unlikely, China has a high vaccination rate.”

                    The current outbreak in China is caused by a strain that has already circulated around the world, with no sign of a major new mutation, officials from an international coalition tracking the pandemic recently revealed. Bloomberg News reported Sunday that Chinese authorities had submitted 25 genetic samples collected over the past month from Beijing, Inner Mongolia, and Guangzhou to the Global Influenza Shared Database (GISAID), the organization’s chief executive Peter Bogner said. ) said there is no evidence yet of any significant new mutant strains.

                     China‚Äôs official media Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday (December 27) citing official experts that since the beginning of December, China has monitored nine prevalent subclades of the new coronavirus, all of which belong to the Omicron variant. In addition, Xu Wenbo, director of the Institute of Viral Diseases of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, also explained to Xinhua News Agency that the subclades BA.5.2 and BF.7 of the Omicron mutant strain accounted for an absolute advantage in the epidemic in China, and the two combined exceeded 80%. Including the other 7 subclades of Omicron mutant strains, no characteristic genome mutations were found in all these subclades.

                     David Dowdy, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, said it’s difficult to pinpoint which mutations are responsible for the current outbreak. “In the absence of more accurate nationwide population-based genomic surveillance, it is difficult to know which variant strains are responsible for most of the current cases,” he said in an email to VOA.

A Newer, More Dangerous Mutant Virus Strain Is Coming? - BlogsSoft

Is a new strain deadlier?

                     What is worrying now is not only whether there will be new mutant strains, but also whether the new virus strains are more dangerous, and may even cause a new round of pandemics.

                     The Chinese media has been flooded in recent days with reports of the so-called “white lung” phenomenon of a large number of white or gray lesions in the lungs of some patients on CT scans. A report in the official Global Times newspaper said that posts were saying that the white lung phenomenon indicated that these cases were not infected with the Omicron variant, but the original strain found in Wuhan, triggering public concern and even panic. Experts they contacted said white lung is a normal symptom in severe and critically ill COVID-19 patients, regardless of which variant the patient is infected with, the newspaper said.

                    The British “Daily Mail” even reported with the headline “Experts warn that the chaos of the new crown epidemic in China may trigger a doomsday mutation and bring the world back to the original point of fighting the epidemic.” A new strain emerges and spreads globally.

                     A study last month warned that the next new coronavirus strain could be more dangerous than Omicron. Pathogens may continue to mutate, and a new mutation may cause more severe illness and death than the relatively benign strain of Omecroron. This study has not yet been peer-reviewed.

                    “Our research shows that in immunosuppressed people, the virus is more likely to develop a more pathogenic variant,” Siegel said in an email to VOA. “Whether this variant actually emerges is unknown.”

                     Siegel’s team found that the virus they were studying caused the same levels of cell fusion and death as the Omicron BA. The first version of the coronavirus found was similar.

                     However, Siegel pointed out that the situation in China is different because the Chinese population does not have a high level of immunity from vaccines or previous infections, which would mean that Omicron would not have its usual advantages, but Omicro Keron variants are very good at copying and transferring, so the most likely scenario is that they will still outcompete any completely new variants. Siegel expects that people are seeing more “infections that are most uncomfortable, but not that dangerous because they tend not to spread to the lungs.”

                     Dowdy of Johns Hopkins University said that although there is a possibility of a new round of global outbreaks, the risk is no greater than before. He said that while it is true that the risk of new variants increases as the infection spreads, it is also important to recognize that transmission rates have also been high in many other parts of the world for more than a year, “with the difference that most People in other countries have had a chance to develop immunity, so the level of severe illness and death is much lower elsewhere.”

                     In an email, he said that on a country-by-country basis, the current wave of coronavirus infections in China may be the largest we have ever seen, but on a global scale, last winter’s wave of Omicron is certainly bigger.

                    “What I’m saying is: there’s definitely a risk of new variants emerging in this wave, causing a global outbreak, but it’s less of a risk than it was a year or more ago because of the level of immunity around the world,” he said.

                     Jin Dongyan, a Hong Kong virus expert, said that even if a new mutant strain emerges, its virulence may not be so terrible. “The toxicity or danger of a new variant is probably not that great.”

                    Virologist Ziad Al-Ali said the crux of the problem is that if a new mutant strain emerges, people have absolutely no idea whether the new strain is more infectious and virulent. “It’s really not clear, the way the virus mutates like that, it’s really completely random,” he said.

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