It contains 46 mutations.. Learn about the new Corona strain that appeared in France

While the world is at war with the highly contagious “Omicron” strain of Corona, scientists in France have identified a new strain, so what is its name? And what are its specifications? Is it dangerous? The answers are in this comprehensive report along with other questions about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several sources talked about the new dynasty, such as “The Independent” (independent) و”Daily Mail(dailymail), “Voice of America” ​​andMirror” (mirror) و”Business Insider India“(businessinsider) و”Russia Today“Etc.

Who discovered the new breed?

The new mutant of corona was revealed by scientists from the France Institute for Mediterranean Infection, in a research paper published in medRxiv website. The study has not been subject to peer review, that is, it has not been reviewed by other scientists and has not yet been accepted for publication in a refereed scientific journal.

What’s her name?

The new strain code is B.1.640.2 (B.1.640.2) and scientists have named it IHU.

How many people are infected with the “B1.640.2” strain?

According to the study, the “IHU” mutation has so far infected 12 people living in southeastern France, near Marseille. The researchers said that the first case is linked to a person with a history of travel to Cameroon, West Africa, and the cases were diagnosed last December.

French scientists said they had identified 46 mutations in the new variant, which could make it more resistant to vaccines and more contagious than the original virus, according to the “Voice of America” ​​website.

What distinguishes the “B1.640.2” strain?

The authors found 46 mutations, and lab tests show that the strain carries the E484K mutation, which is thought to make it more resistant to vaccines.

It also contains the N501Y mutation first seen in the alpha variant, and some experts believe it could make it more transmissible, according to the Daily Mail.

Are you worrying?

According to many experts, just because a new variant is discovered does not necessarily mean it will be more contagious or dangerous.

The current data is reassuring. The B1.640.2 strain has not been detected in other countries, nor has it been classified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization.

“This virus has had a good chance of causing trouble, but it hasn’t really materialized as far as we can tell,” Dr Thomas Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, told the Daily Mail.

He added that he certainly “doesn’t deserve to worry about him too much” right now.

Professor Francis Ballou, a geneticist at University College London, said the variable was not linked to a sharp rise in cases or hospitalizations in France, and called on people to “relax”.

Will the Omicron dynasty herald the end of the pandemic?

Could the Omicron wave herald the end of the COVID-19 pandemic by acquiring herd immunity for the world’s population? Some hope so, but there is still great caution because the scenarios for the future are still unknown, according to the AFP report.

This fifth wave may be the last. Is the optimism expressed by French Health Minister Olivier Veran at the weekend really justified? He believes that the new mutation, which has become dominant in many countries, is so contagious that it will “create a boosted immunity” in the world “we will all be better off then.”

In front of deputies on Monday, the French Minister of Health expressed cautious optimism, and predicted a possible exit from the crisis. And he repeated his statements to “France Inter” today, with some caution, saying, “Everything revolves around maybe.”

However, this optimistic scenario appears to be shared by a number of experts. Alain Fischer, in charge of the French vaccination program, announced to BFMTV on Monday that with a new mutant “more transmissible (than its predecessors, but less dangerous) we may witness the beginning of the evolution towards a more common virus similar to other viruses.”

In other words, a more contagious and less dangerous virus would allow us to obtain natural immunity in addition to the immunity conferred by the vaccine, which would mean entering a less dangerous phase of the epidemic.

And at the end of the week, French epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet declared, “Finally there is hope… the coronavirus will join other seasonal human coronaviruses that cause colds and tonsillitis every winter.”

“We haven’t reached this stage yet,” he said. “We can expect new mutations to emerge but because our immunity has been strengthened over time either through natural infection or booster doses of the vaccine, their ability to cause serious cases will decline,” he said.

Two possible scenarios

But even with a less dangerous virus, the consequences could be collectively dire, with a rise in cases likely to lead to more hospitalizations. No one knows when this collective immunity will materialize.

And Julian Tang, a virologist and professor at the University of Leicester, recently confirmed – as quoted by the British “Science Media Center” organization – that he still has hope that the virus will eventually become like other cold viruses, perhaps within the next year or two, by continuing to take Vaccines, wearing a muzzle, and adhering to social distancing for the most vulnerable groups, “just as we do with influenza every year.”

Two years after the emergence of Covid-19 and the emergence of several mutations and developments that often frustrated all expectations, some are now refusing to speculate.

“If we want to start drawing lessons from the recent past of this epidemic, let us remember that its development is unpredictable,” epidemiologist Antoine Flahau told AFP.

He explained that the concept of herd immunity is “purely theoretical.” “It appears that the immunity conferred by the vaccine effectively protects against dangerous forms of the disease, but this does not apply to all vaccinates,” he says.

In addition, “it appears that naturally acquired immunity through infection with the Corona virus also provides one form of protection, especially against serious cases, but none of this is completely clear.”

According to the Director of the Global Health Institute in Geneva, all scenarios remain on the table today, from the most optimistic – which Ferran spoke about – to the most pessimistic, and it involves, for example, a great difficulty in exceeding the peak of the mutant or micron and the inability of health systems to confront cases or the emergence of a new mutant.

And on Sunday, Professor Eric Com, the former head of the infectious diseases department at the Pettier Salpetriere Hospital in Paris, announced, “I am convinced that this wave will not be the last.” “But it might be the last that’s so powerful,” he added.

What after Omicron?

For his part, writer Clive Coxen believes that despite the threat posed by the new Omicron mutant to global health, scientists are optimistic that the impact of the virus will diminish in 2022, in a report published by the newspaper Financial Times (Financial Times).

He said that the Omicron mutant threatens to erupt another health crisis in the next few months, but the most likely scenarios show a major future breakthrough for the crisis thanks to the increasing collective immunity of the world’s population, which would reduce the effects of the virus on health.

Sir Jeremy Barrar, director of the Wellcome Trust Center for Medical Research, says: “The incidence of Omicron in Europe and North America has risen very rapidly, and we may see a decline at the same speed in the next month or two.” “After the omicron infection wave is over, the immunity we have gained will likely give us a period of stability, but there are many ways in which this can happen,” he explained.

The writer mentioned that the first signs of hope appeared Thursday when South Africa lifted restrictions on movement. “All indications are that the country may have passed the peak of the fourth wave,” a cabinet statement said, referring to the previous rise in new mutated cases.

“It makes sense to think that the burden of Covid could be reduced by 95% in 2022, so that the virus would not be on the list of the most pressing health issues. That would be a reasonable goal to end the epidemic,” says Tim Colborne, professor of epidemiology at University College London.

Laboratory tests show that multiple mutations of the Omicron mutant made it more contagious than the previous mutant in the sinuses and upper respiratory tract, but in return it does not pose a threat to the lungs. The fact that Omicron is highly contagious means that about 3 billion infections can be recorded globally over the next two months, as did the first two years of the epidemic, according to modeling by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

According to Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, “This massive increase in the number of infections will translate into a decrease in hospital admissions compared to the delta mutated wave or the surge of injuries during last winter at the global level.”

Evidence so far indicates that omicron will become the most prevalent mutant in most parts of the world, just as the delta mutant has overtaken previous strains. “I’m reassured about this possibility,” Farrar said. “But I’d be more concerned if other mutants appeared at the same time, because that means they were exploiting different ecotypes, and we’d end up with a potentially dangerous multi-lineage interaction.”

And the writer quoted Jennifer Ron, a cell biologist and professor at University College London, that “it is possible to imagine the emergence of a new mutant that is more lethal, more infectious and also more harmful, but I do not know whether this is possible for this virus.”

Scientists debate whether new pathogens tend to become milder over time as they fuse with human cells. But Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, is convinced that the same applies to coronaviruses.

“Coronavirus mutations will continue to emerge forever, but our cellular immunity will build a fortress that protects us from severe disease every time we get infected. Eventually we will stop worrying about the virus,” Hunter added.

Source : The Independent + Al Jazeera + Agencies + Russian press + Daily Mail

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