Mild to no symptoms of coronavirus, nor any antibodies

Saturday 15 January 2022 14:35

Covid scientists are increasingly convinced that the Omicron variant acts as a natural vaccine for tens of millions of people around the world, as most infected people have no or very mild symptoms, but their bodies do produce full antibodies.

Many countries currently see record numbers of infections, including the United Kingdom, the US, most of Europe and Asia, but hospital admissions show only a modest or even no serious increase.

In South Africa, where Omicron was first discovered in November, infection rates are dropping rapidly and most experts believe that the Omicron wave is over and that other countries should expect the same cycle in the coming months.

The high level of infectivity, combined with very mild symptoms, can make Omicron a disguised blessing, some Covid scientists claim. In fact, some go so far as to suggest that it may no longer be necessary to get vaccinated, just get Omicron.

Dr Vishal Sehgal, President of Medical Services at Portea MeMedical in India, told the Times of India that “Omicron acts as a natural vaccine and proves beneficial because it is less life-threatening.”

The end of the pandemic?

A number of experts around the world are convinced that the world is currently watching the tail of the pandemic, based on other virus outbreaks in history.

Dr Namita Jaggi of Artemis Hospitals in India told several media outlets that “pandemics have traditionally disappeared by having variants that are milder and less serious until they finally become extinct.”

“No, Omicron is not a cause for concern, we should rather optimistically hope that we go to the end of the pandemic,” Jaggi said.

‘We’re going to end the pandemic’

Dr. Namita Jaggi

Nicanor Austriaco, a Filipino-American molecular biologist, also believes that Covid could slowly kill itself with the milder Omicron variant.

At a town hall meeting last week, he said those infected with Omicron will have antibodies that “will protect them against Delta, Gamma, Beta, Alpha and D614G” variants.

“This variant is the beginning of the end of the pandemic that has crippled the world community for two years,” Austriaco said. The PhilStar newspaper last week.

“Because the virus is growing rapidly, it will try to spread to everyone and it will try to find so many of us vulnerable. It is spreading so fast, which you would expect the ‘food’ to come up soon.”

“And when the food runs out, it’s going to start crashing, which is what you see in South Africa, the numbers crash.

“In London, the numbers start to fall just because it spreads like wildfire, and when all the trees are burned, there is no place to go. So it starts to fall.”

Austrian Nikanor – molecular biologist

“We need to realize that Omicron is the beginning of the end of the pandemic, because Omicron will provide the kind of immunity of the population that should stabilize our societies and allow us to reopen,” he said. added Austriaco.

In addition, pulmonologist Dr. Puneet Khanna said that “viruses tend to evolve into a less severe strain that can be easily transmitted but is less fatal.”

“Making people very sick is not in the interest of the virus.”

Dr. Puneet Khanna

“So there is hope that the strain will weaken in the future and cause a mild infection that is quite similar to the common flu. But it should be noted that viruses continue to mutate and that later versions can even get dangerous mutations or even milder, “Khanna told the Times of India.

Path from Omicron

The latest figures in South Africa and a number of other countries could offer the rest of the world an outlet from Omicron, said Salim Abdool Karim, one of South Africa’s leading scientists in infectious diseases.

He is convinced that “every other country, or almost every other, will follow the same trajectory.” The rate of new infections has dropped steadily over the last 30 days.

New infections in South Africa in the last 30 days

Karim, who led the pandemic response in South Africa, also told various media outlets that the peak of the Omicron wave was over, comparing the wave of cases with the highest mountain in Africa.

“As previous variants caused waves like Kilimanjaro, omicron’s are more than we scale the northern face of Everest,” said Karim, referring to the near-vertical jump in infections that South Africa experienced in the last weeks of November and first two weeks. of December.

His peer, the president of the South African Medical Association, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, a household name in South Africa, could not agree more: the country is “across the curve and [infection] numbers are much lower, “she said.

Look at the data coming from Southern Africa and the United Kingdom, Marc van Ranst, a Belgian professor of virology at the University of Leuven and the Rega Institute for Medical Research. said that “the omicron variant is less pathogenic, but with larger infections, which could replace Omicron Delta, this is very positive.”

“It is extremely important that we closely monitor the clinical data of Omicron patients in South Africa and worldwide,” said Van Ranst.

Finally, another well-known virologist in Africa, Michelle Groome, of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), told several news stories that “we have surpassed the peak of infections.”

Groome quoted figures from the NCID showed that new cases have dropped by almost a quarter in the past seven days, after another 14 percent drop the previous week.

There are currently no restrictions in South Africa. Restaurants, shops, cinemas, malls, bars, coffee shops and gyms are all open, both indoors and outdoors.

Most transferable variant

Despite reasons to be cautiously optimistic, Dr. Leonard Pascual warned that “Omicron is the most contagious variant of the Covid-19 virus to date. Let no one win you over with the story that a cure-all, end-all,” vaccine “is. It’s still Covid.”

In fact, just “a flurry of infected breath” is enough to catch the most transmissible variant of coronavirus, a leading scientist warned earlier last week.

Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the UK’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), emphasizes how contagious Omicron is.

“We have had several iterations of this virus going through different stages of its evolution,” he said.

“We’re really lucky it was not so contagious when it first moved into human-to-human transmission.”

Professor Peter Openshaw

To prevent new variants from occurring or to prevent variants such as Delta or Omicron from further adaptation, “take away the chance of the virus to replicate away,” wrote the Canada-based Dr. Angela Rasmussen last week.

“That means stopping the transfer to new hosts. Fewer new cases = less replication = less mutation = fewer variants emerging. That, as the article says, we need to reduce the transfer of community, increase oversight and test- / trace capacity, and address this while it is still rare, “she warned.

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