Shi Zhengli, China’s ‘Bat Woman’, has said that new variants of Sars-Cov-2 will continue to emerge, but that vaccines are ‘effective’. “We shouldn’t panic, but we need to prepare to co-exist with the virus in the long term,” Shi told media on Wednesday.
"Learn to live with the virus" either means nothing, or it means, "Learn to be quiet about the unnecessary deaths of your loved ones, friends, and compatriots."
Ain't gonna happen.
— Dominic Minghella (@DMinghella) August 1, 2021
This 👆 👆 👆
Scenario One: A variant that causes severe disease in a greater proportion of the population than has occurred to date. Scenario Two: A variant that evades current vaccines. Scenario Three: Emergence of a drug resistant variant after anti-viral strategies. Scenario Four: SARS-CoV-2 follows an evolutionary trajectory with decreased virulence.
Scenario One: A variant that causes severe disease in a greater proportion of the population than has occurred to date. For example, with similar morbidity/mortality to other zoonotic coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV (~10% case fatality) or MERS-CoV (~35% case fatality).
Likelihood of increased severity phenotype: Realistic possibility.
Scenario Two: A variant that evades current vaccines. This could be caused by: Antigenic ‘shift’: Natural recombination events that insert a different spike gene sequence (or partial sequence) from human CoVs MERS-CoV (highly unlikely due to the low frequency of MERS-CoV infections), or from currently circulating endemic human CoVs (more likely due to the prevalence of these viruses). This would recombine into the ‘body’ of SARS-CoV-2 that is capable of high replication in human cells. The consequence could be a virus that causes disease at a level similar to COVID-19 when it first emerged but against which our current battery of spike glycoprotein-based vaccines would not work.
Likelihood: Realistic possibility.
Scenario Three: Emergence of a drug resistant variant after anti-viral strategies. This could be caused by: Emergence of new variants following the administration of directly acting antiviral therapies. As we begin to use directly acting antiviral drugs it is highly likely a variant will be selected that had resistance to individual agents. For example, drugs that target the viral 3C protease, drugs that target the polymerase, monoclonal antibodies that target the spike glycoprotein. If the drugs are used as a mono therapy, then resistant variants have a high probability of emerging. This may render all drugs in that category unusable.
Likelihood: Likely – unless the drugs are used correctly.
Scenario Four: SARS-CoV-2 follows an evolutionary trajectory with decreased virulence. This could be caused by: Variants arising with increased transmissibility but decreased pathogenesis/virulence as the virus becomes fully adapted to the human host becoming an endemic infection. Coupled with the likelihood of eventual high populations immunity the infection produces less disease. In other words, this virus will become like other human CoV that causes common colds, but with much less severe disease predominantly in the old or clinically vulnerable.
Likelihood: Unlikely in the short term, realistic possibility in the long term.
What do the people who say “learn to live with the virus” actually mean?
They mean: fail to learn any of the lessons of the last 18 months, fail to mitigate against the spread of the virus and tolerate avoidable deaths and disease burden.
I’d rather we didn’t.
— Kit Yates (@Kit_Yates_Maths) July 30, 2021
Over to you Kirsty….
“We all need to change our thinking and draw a road map for living with Covid,” says Dr. Manfred Green. We disagree, and we will be explaining why we disagree in a post later.
Editors note: This report comes just 48 hours after our warning that Boris Johnson’s government was proposing to his countrymen that they should also “learn to live with Covid” (see original post below).
Have you ever wondered what happens when you search for “We have to learn to live with Ebola”? Try it.
It’s an idea so insane that only one person in recorded history has actually written it down.
“Learning to live with Covid” will be coming to your country soon. Be prepared.
A short reminder of what happened after “Freedom Day” was announced in the Czech Republic on July 2nd 2020:
Covid-19 cases after “Freedom Day” in the Czech Republic in 2020:
Covid-19 deaths after “Freedom Day” in the Czech Republic in July 2020:
English Freedom Day – Lions led by Zombies.
Researchers in Belgium report on the case of a 90-year-old woman who was simultaneously infected with two different variants of concern (VOCs) of COVID-19, in a Case Report being presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) held online this year.
On March 3 2021, the woman, whose medical history was unremarkable, was admitted to the OLV Hospital in the Belgian city of Aalst after a spate of falls. She tested positive for COVID-19 on the same day. She lived alone and received nursing care at home, and had not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Initially, there were no signs of respiratory distress and the patient had good oxygen saturation. However, she developed rapidly worsening respiratory symptoms, and died five days later.
When the patient’s respiratory sample was tested for VOCs with PCR, they discovered that she had been infected by two different strains of the virus–one which originated in the UK, known as B.1.1.7 (Alpha), and another that was first detected in South Africa (B.1.351; Beta).
The presence of both strains was confirmed by PCR on a second respiratory sample, by sequencing of the S-gene and by whole genome sequencing.
There is something deeply surreal about Britain’s current Covid-19 policy right now. The UK has one of the fastest rising coronavirus case rates in the world. It has the largest Delta variant case load in Europe, and it has recently confessed to having more than 2 million Long-Covid patients. Yet, despite this, it still intends to lift all Covid restrictions within days and declare the pandemic over in Britain.
In a further twist today, the UK government is now also reportedly considering abandoning the publication of Covid infection and death rates in future, presumably to hide the level of carnage brought about by such absurd policymaking.
Britain, through lazy indecision, has allowed itself to become a veritable breeding ground for dangerous new Sars-CoV-2 variants including B.1.1.7 and B.1.617.2. It has then allowed those variants to seed across the globe through its porous border system, causing untold death and misery for millions. That is neither acceptable, responsible or tolerable in today’s interconnected world.
If no effort is made by one country to control the Covid-19 virus, then all other countries with fail along with it. For one country to abandon the fight unilaterally against the virus is effectively condemning every country on Earth to an endless cycle of ever more dangerous strains of coronavirus from which many will die and many more will never recover.
—– UK Gov Long Covid Study —-
—- UK coronavirus cases —-
— Total cases v Long Covid —
2 Million cases of Long Covid. 4.7 million confirmed coronavirus cases in Britain. That means that nearly half of all those infected since the beginning of the pandemic could have Long Covid.
Andalusia has detected the first case of a patient infected with both covid and West Nile virus . This is a young man who was admitted with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus at the Virgen del Rocío hospital in Seville and who, after detecting symptoms compatible with meningitis, similar to those shown by patients with West Nile fever, was they carried out the pertinent tests. It is the first case registered with this double infection simultaneously in the same person.
“The Andalusian General Health Directorate has confirmed the positive for Nile virus”, explains the hematologist Salvador Oyonarte , member of the Scientific Committee for Transfusion Safety of the Ministry of Health and manager of the Andalusian Network of Transfusion Medicine, Tissues and Cells. “There are no records of other patients and the affected person presents an atypical picture. It is very important to go back to the date of signs of symptoms, “says Oyonarte, who clarifies that” he would like to have more details “and even do more tests to verify that” it is not a false positive for the Nile virus.”
El Pais report (in Spanish)
Out of seven samples (four tiger and 3 lions) sent to ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI) in Izatnagar, Bareilly, in Uttar Pradesh, one lioness tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and distemper virus, another lioness for SARS-CoV-2, and a lion tested positive for distemper virus,” said IVRI Joint Director K P Singh said.
The New Indian Express had already reported that two lionesses — Kavitha and Bhuvana, aged 23 and 19 years respectively — are in critical condition.
“Here we present a case of prolonged infection of greater than 6 months with shedding of high titer SARS-CoV-2 in an individual with advanced HIV and antiretroviral treatment failure. …Through whole genome sequencing at multiple time-points, we demonstrate the early emergence of the E484K substitution associated with escape from neutralizing antibodies, followed by other escape mutations and the N501Y substitution found in most variants of concern.”
“We were the first to identify two independent events of co-infection caused by the occurrence of B.1.1.28 (E484K) with either B.1.1.248 or B.1.91 lineages. Also, clustering analysis revealed the occurrence of a novel cluster of samples circulating in the state (named VUI-NP13L) characterized by 12 lineage-defining mutations.”
ScienceDirect.com preprint: Pervasive transmission of E484K and emergence of VUI-NP13L with evidence of SARS-CoV-2 co-infection events by two different lineages in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Researchers estimate that the P.1 VOC is between 1.4–2.2 times more transmissible than non-VOC lineages. In addition, they estimate that the P.1 VOC evades 25-61% of protective immunity arising from infection with previously circulating variants.
Statistical analysis of genome data suggests that the P.1 lineage has likely been circulating in Manaus since early November 2020.
This lineage has been identified in over 20 countries worldwide and continues to spread, including several recently confirmed cases in the UK.
Global collaborative efforts on rapid virus genome sequencing are allowing us to identify SARS-CoV-2 lineages of concerns in near real-time.
Several genetic changes – substitutions and deletions – in this new P.1 lineage may have immunological significance. The team identified 17 mutations for this VOC, including a trio in the spike protein (K417T, E484K and N501Y) associated with increased binding to the human ACE2 receptor: a protein on the cell surface functioning as an entrance into the cell for SARS-CoV-2. Using analysis of genome sequence data, researchers were able to date back the emergence of the P.1 VOC to early November 2020.
More transmissible and evasive
The researchers found that the new P.1 lineage is growing rapidly in Brazil, is likely more transmissible than other variants, and may have the ability to evade protective immunity. The researchers estimate that the P.1 VOC is between 1.4–2.2 times more transmissible than non-VOC lineages. In addition, they estimate that the P.1 VOC evades 25-61% of protective immunity arising from infection with previously circulating variants. The exact trade-off between increased transmissibility and evading immunity is not currently known.