The Chinese government announced a state of alert to confront the Corona virus at the beginning of this April, in an attempt to control the rapid spread of the virus in Chinese cities, and the measures included re-imposing total or partial closures in 23 Chinese cities, which restricted the lives of more than 193 million people, and Shanghai witnessed The most severe measures were set up, with more than 62 quarantine sites set up in hotels, stadiums and fairs, 30,000 temporary hospitals, and more than 25 million people receiving a swab within 24 hours.

(1)

And now, after nearly 4 weeks of imposing the closure, the government authorities are heading towards tightening restrictions on movement in some provinces, and they have warned Shanghai residents that the measures will continue until the virus is eliminated, and the new measures did not exclude children, according to testimonies monitored by the Guardian newspaper. The quarantine also included children who carried positive results without symptoms of infection with the virus (2), and this exposed the affected cities to a mental health crisis that required the intervention of mental health specialists to reduce the effects of domestic isolation and the separation of families (3), although the announced data on infection rates And the death does not refer to a crisis similar to what happened at the beginning of the epidemic, there is information about the possibility of inaccurate data when compared to current measures, which raises questions about a new storm of the Corona virus that hits China.

Looking at the data issued by different countries around the world about HIV infection rates and death rates in each country, we note a gradual increase in infection rates around the world, and with regard to the observed data on death rates, we can also note a relative increase until the third week of April.

And it comes at the forefront of countries at risk: South Korea, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Thailand, and South Korea has witnessed a number of infections exceeding one million within one week (4), so is there a coming wave of the Corona virus?

Or a new mutant difficult to confront?

Repeat waves of the virus

The shortest period of time for recurrence of infection with the Corona virus was recently announced, which is 20 days, after a Spanish woman was infected with the virus twice within 20 days, despite receiving full doses of the vaccine. Symptoms of infection with the Corona virus, which required her to undergo a test that showed her infection with the “Omicron” mutant.

This differs markedly from what the United Kingdom recorded earlier in that the shortest expected period of recurrence of the virus is 90 days.

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Specialists at Johns Hopkins Medicine indicate that repeated rises in infection rates with the Corona virus may increase due to factors such as a decrease in the number of people vaccinated, and this means the spread of the epidemic among those most vulnerable to infection, in addition to a failure to adhere to preventive measures such as wearing face masks. And gathering in large numbers in places of celebrations, eating and activities without committing to social distancing, and this also means expecting high infection rates in geographical spots and densely populated places.

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The new mutations also pose a challenge to controlling infections caused by the Corona virus, as the “Delta” and “Omicron” mutants were considered among the most prevalent mutant, and despite the provision of vaccinations to protect against complications of the Corona virus infection such as severe fatigue, hospitalization and death, the possibility of infection with the epidemic remains. Existing, in addition to the preventive measures, isolation and closure measures that require several weeks to show their impact in reducing the number of injuries and deaths.

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The new mutant of the Corona virus

Now, the "Omicron" mutant is the reason for the emergence of the highest rates of infection with the Coronavirus since the outbreak of the epidemic in 2019. Protection from recurring infection with the Corona virus mutants by more than 90%, this percentage drops to 56% in the face of “Omicron”, which can infect the body by reaching the upper airways such as the throat and remaining stuck in the air indoors, and this means that it is easy to spread during speech or breathing, especially Among those who do not wear protective masks, but re-infection with the Corona virus, specifically with the new mutation, does not pose a greater risk compared to other variables in terms of causing critical cases or death.

(8)

This mutant has so far produced more than 50 mutations, most of which occurred in a protein that the virus uses to install itself in the cells of the infected person to be able to penetrate the cells and infect them with infection. The BA.2 mutation, and because of this, “Omicron” in its current form is the most widespread and infectious mutant compared to the Corona virus before the mutation and even more than the “Delta” mutant, and it is worrying that there is no scientific evidence confirming that the symptoms of infection with these The mutation is less severe than that caused by the 'delta' mutant.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains the difference between mutation and mutation. In a mutation, the virus undergoes a genetic change, specifically in the "thorn" that the virus uses to penetrate the cells of the body, and mutations can be repeated, and may not affect the characteristics and properties of the virus. Except sometimes, as for the mutant, it may result from one or more mutations that transform the virus into a new form, and these mutagens are scientifically classified based on the speed of their spread and the ferocity of their attack on the immune system, or their cause in the emergence of a new infection, or the recurrence of infection, or the occurrence of critical complications such as the corona mutant. Alpha, beta, gamma, and omicron, or even based on the inability of vaccines to protect against them.

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Containing the new mutant

An increase in the number of infections among children was observed as a result of the "Delta" and "Omicron" mutants, but there is still no strong evidence confirming the tendency of the new mutations to infect children in particular.

Mutations and mutations are normal and expected in the world of viruses, just as it happens with the influenza virus, which is why doctors are currently encouraging people to get new influenza vaccines, as the virus changes come to overcome the immune system, so vaccines are constantly developed to increase the ability of the system Immunodeficiency in the face of repeated viral invasion.

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According to Dr.

Robert Bollinger of Johns Hopkins Hospital, it will require scientists to monitor the Corona virus to monitor any mutations that the virus may produce during its evolution, to be able to develop the process of designing effective vaccines against it, just as the influenza virus is dealt with, and also indicates that Getting the vaccine and booster shots as soon as possible provides strong protection against a PA2 mutation, especially against the possibility of hospitalization and death.(12)

With regard to the infection of children with the "Omicron" mutation, an increase in the number of infections among children was observed as a result of the "Delta" and "Omicron" mutations, and the emergence of critical symptoms and deaths due to infection, but there is still no strong evidence confirming the tendency of the new mutations to infect children in particular. The matter also remains under surveillance in anticipation of a change in the nature of the virus and the type of people that the new mutations will target.

(13)

The Corona virus is so far less vulnerable to genetic changes and mutations compared to the influenza virus, but work on monitoring, evaluating and developing currently available vaccines will continue because there are no specialized vaccines against mutants to provide strong protection against and combat them, but Dr.

Bollinger believes that as long as there are vaccines that contribute to alleviating the symptoms of the Corona virus, this is better than the absence of vaccines capable of helping in any way.

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Is there a wave coming?

There is still no guarantee that new waves of the Corona virus will not occur, there is a possibility of their recurrence in the future, and infection and death rates will continue to fluctuate between high and low until the virus is completely eliminated, so John Hopkins Hospital provides a set of tips to deal with the current situation.

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First, everyone should receive full vaccinations, and follow up on the announced changes regarding the effectiveness and safety of currently available vaccines, while continuing to follow precautionary measures against the Corona virus, such as social distancing, washing hands, and wearing protective masks, especially in closed and public places.

After that, you should check the maps of the spread of the virus and updated data, to know the epidemiological situation in the place of residence of each person, and to seek help from the responsible authorities if necessary.

Then make sure that food and medical supplies are available at home for two weeks, in anticipation of any emergency measures.

Finally, do not hesitate to see doctors if you suspect that you have one of the mutations, and symptoms that go beyond the usual mild symptoms of respiratory viruses appear.

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Sources:

  • 1- Whole of Shanghai enters COVID lockdown despite lower symptomatic cases 

  • 2- Shanghai further tightens Covid restrictions after weeks of strict lockdown

  • 3- Covid forces China to face mental health crisis a long time in the making

  • 4- worldometers

  • 5- Covid: Woman caught virus twice within record 20 days

  • 6-15- Coronavirus Second Wave, Third Wave and Beyond: What Causes a COVID Surge

  • 7-9-11-12-13-14- COVID Variants: What You Should Know

  • Protection against the Omicron Variant from Previous SARS-CoV-2 Infection -8

  • SARS-CoV-2 Variant Classifications and Definitions 10

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