In the past weeks, 3 new sub-strains of the Omicron mutant of the Corona virus have appeared, so what are they?

What are the effects of its appearance?

How does the immune system deal with it?

The answers and more are in this report.

3 new strains of Omicron

BA 2.12.1 strain (BA.2.12.1)

CNN's Brenda Goodman writes that cases in America are trending up in most states and are up more than 50% from the previous week in Washington, Mississippi, Georgia, Maine, Hawaii, South Dakota, Nevada and Montana.

She adds that this time the culprit appears to be part of Omicron's BA.2 variant called BA.2.12.1, which was first identified by New York state health officials in April. /April.

The BA2.12.1 strain, which grows about 25% faster than the original BA.2 virus, accounts for nearly 37% of all COVID-19 cases across the United States, according to new estimates. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

BA4 strain and BA5 strain

After weeks of decline, the country of South Africa witnessed a sharp rise in cases of the “Covid-19” virus in the past two weeks, and scientists saw two relatively new sub-variables, namely the “BA.4” strain (BA.4) and the “BA5” strain (BA. 5) They accounted for nearly 60% of all new COVID-19 cases by the end of last April, according to South Africa's National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

These new sub-variants of Omicron are spread all over the world, and PA4 has been reported in 15 countries and 10 US states, while PA5 has been found in 13 countries and 5 US states, according to the Outbreak Info website ( Outbreak.info) which is operated by a coalition of academic research centers and is supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Omicron sub-strains escape immunity

A preprint study, not peer-reviewed, indicates that BA.4 and BA.5 can escape antibodies from previous infections that cause infection. It contains the original Omicron BA1 virus (BA.1).

They can also escape antibodies in people who have been vaccinated and had a previous PA1 infection, although this happened to a lesser degree than in people who had only been infected.

The results of the study led the researchers to conclude that the “BA.4” and “BA.5” strains have the ability to cause a new wave of infection in a way that makes “Covid-19” vaccines and booster doses crucial to stopping the next wave. .

Data from Johns Hopkins University showed that the two strains "PA4" and "PA5" received increased attention in South Africa, with the doubling of weekly cases of coronavirus in the past two weeks.

long story

“It just popped up over the weekend,” said Dr. Peter Chen Hong, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco. “We were already getting used to PA2 and then PA4 and PA5. This seems to be the latest chapter in a long, unending story.” .

There is a possibility that the rapid growth of PA4 and PA5 strains in South Africa will cause a possible increase in the future in California and the US So far, scientists have confirmed that people who have survived the first Omicron strain in winter (P. A1) are unlikely to re-infection with the more infectious sub-strain PA2 that is now circulating throughout the United States.

Virus mutations do not recede.. a new mutant from Omicron proves it

In a report published by the Washington Post (Washington Post), writer Joel Achenbach said that the Corona virus had billions of opportunities to reshape itself as it spread throughout the planet, and it also continued to evolve, generating new variables and sub-variables in a scene that made scientists astonished what happens;

Two and a half years after it first appeared in humans, the virus has repeatedly changed its structure in ways that confound efforts to control it completely.

The virus's mutants are not showing signs of stability, and even with all the changes so far they still have plenty of evolutionary space to explore, according to virologists who follow them closely, and what this means - in practical terms - is that the virus is already highly contagious, and could become more So.

The author quoted virologist Robert F.

Gary of Tulane University said, "It's possible that this virus has tricks that we haven't seen yet; we know it may not be quite as contagious as measles yet, but it's definitely creeping up to that level."

The author said that preliminary research indicates that the “PA2.12.1” strain is 25% more transmissible than the “PA2” mutant from the currently dominant Omicron at the national level, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which confirmed that the sub-mutant has spread. Particularly in the Northeast, where it accounts for the most new infections.

Highly contagious variant of omicron

According to the author, US President Joe Biden's new coordinator for the COVID-19 crisis, Ashish Jha, said in Tuesday's opening news briefing, "We have a highly contagious variant out there;

It will be difficult to make sure that no one in America has not contracted the disease,” and he was answering a question regarding Vice President Kamala Harris, who was recently confirmed to have contracted the virus and entered medical isolation, and was boosted with the vaccine for the second time in a row, which is her fourth vaccine.

The writer explains that Harris' case highlights what has become painfully clear in recent months that "no amount of vaccination or booster can create a perfect shield against infection from corona, yet what vaccines do very well is reduce the risk of infection." With significantly severe disease, this is of great importance in a public health issue, as well as the broader use of therapies, such as the antiviral Baxilovid."

The genetic sequence of the original strain of the Corona virus

The author points out that all currently circulating vaccines were based on the genetic sequence of the original strain of the virus that spread in late 2019 in Wuhan, China;

They essentially mimic the elevated protein of this version of the virus and trigger a protective immune response when the real virus appears.

He added, "But the mutants that have emerged can evade many neutralizing antibodies that are the front line of defense for the immune system." And Jesse Bloom, a computational biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, was quoted as saying, "They develop at a fairly rapid rate. What; I think we need to think hard if we should update vaccines and do that soon."

The writer shows that the new Corona virus is advancing another step on the scale of infection, especially since its close relative “BA2” (BA.2) was already more transmissible than the first Omicron strain that struck the country in late 2021, and Omicron was more transmissible than The delta mutant, delta was more transmissible than the alpha mutant, and alpha was more transmissible than the previous mutants.

300,000 patients in Germany have been treated for long-term Covid symptoms

A medical report issued by the Central Institute of Health Insurance in Germany said that since January 1, 2021, patients with post-Covid effects were identified through a special code.

The institute added that this was documented in 303,267 patients in the first months of last year until the end of September 2021, according to Deutsche Welle.

The report indicated that in the first quarter of the same year, up to 110 thousand patients were identified, while the number reached 125,000 patients in the second quarter, while in the third quarter the number of patients with these symptoms reached 68 thousand patients.

Dominic von Stilfried, head of the institute, explained that with regard to the 4.2 million cases of corona confirmed by September 2021, the frequency of these symptoms was fortunately rather low, and said, "Post-Covid symptoms do not develop into a new, widespread disease." .

The patient accounts data that were evaluated showed that there is a heterogeneous clinical picture of these symptoms, and the vast majority do not require any special care over a long period of time, and that this applies only to a smaller proportion, as this group needs more monitoring.

Long-term effects after recovery from Corona

The report also said that based on the follow-up of patients' cases during the year, it was found that 61% of patients with these cases were treated in the first quarter, and that one-fifth of the injuries were treated in the second quarter and a similar percentage in the third quarter.

The head of the National Health Insurance Corporation, Andreas Gassen, said the duration of treatment is manageable and usually extends to 3 months.

As Vice President of Health Insurance, Stefan Hofmeister, said it was also clear that the need for medical care and advice was very high and this also included extensive work within doctors' offices.

The patient instructions issued in Germany specify that in the case of infection with so-called “long-term Covid”, patients issue complaints that last more than 4 weeks after infection, while it is classified in “post-Covid” cases if the infection continues to disrupt the patient’s daily life for 12 weeks. after injury.

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