The first data from the initial study indicate a variant of the corona virus Omigron According to scientists in South Africa, it can bypass a portion of our immune system.
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This is a quick test and not a definitive test, but it fits in with the concern about mutations in variance.
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A week after the variant was named Omigron, the world is still struggling to understand the real threat posed by the variant. But now the first parts of a larger and more complex puzzle are beginning to fit together.
We already know that the variant has many mutations and has been found in more than 30 countries.
South African officials have warned that this could lead to an increase in cases in the country.
The last part of the puzzle is to understand what is the probability of re-infection due to Omigran to someone who is already suffering from Govt disease.
The effect of variations
Scientists studied about 36,000 suspected re-infections in South Africa and found changes in recurrence rates (two or more infections from the same person) throughout the epidemic.
They showed that during waves caused by beta and delta types, there is not a high risk of recurrence of the infection. Although laboratory studies have shown that these variants have the ability to partially inhibit the immunity acquired by those who have been infected and cured.
However, they have now again found an increase in infections. They did not examine every patient to see if it came from Omigran, but they say the variation in the time it occurs is the driving force.
A non-peer-reviewed study estimates that Omigron may cause twice as many restarts as previous variants.
Juliette Bulliam, a professor at Stellenbosch University and one of the leading researchers, said: “These findings suggest that Omigron is at least partially driven by its ability to affect previously infected individuals.”
However, this is only part of the puzzle. One factor is the influence of decreased immunity and there are doubts as to which variants of the infection may now be on the rise.
In addition, it will be a quick analysis and more data over time. In South Africa, the high rate of HIV infection suppressing the immune system makes it difficult to explain the findings to other parts of the world.
Laboratory studies are expected next week to show how well antibodies attack the virus.
Is the moment important?
In South Africa, only 24% of the population is fully vaccinated. The researchers said their findings were more appropriate for countries with high levels of natural immunity to infections.
But Bulliam stressed that “they can not estimate whether Omigran avoids immunity derived from the vaccine” because they do not have such data.
This makes it very difficult to understand what happens in countries with high vaccination rates, and even in countries where booster doses are rapidly implemented to improve immunity.
Booster doses should compensate for some variation avoidance mechanisms.
Paul Hunter, a professor at the University of East Anglia in the UK, Norwich, said: ‘The implications of this article are that natural and possibly vaccine-induced immunity can be significantly overcome.’
“While it is doubtful whether this implies complete absurdity, the extent to which it is not yet clear.”
Most scientists assume that although vaccines are less effective, their primary job is to prevent serious illness and death in preventing people from contracting the Govt infection.
However, Omigron can cause problems. If this variant has the potential to cause a sudden big wave of new infections, it could put pressure on hospitals again.
Since it is probably two weeks from the time of infection, perhaps until hospital care is required, it is still too early to know for sure. South Africa, on the other hand, is a country whose population is relatively young, which means the Govt should be milder than the aging population.
Franாங்கois Baloux, a professor at University College London, said: ‘The estimated increased re-infection of the omigran variant is not very surprising, and is often expected based on the high number of mutations in the spike protein, which increases the person’s ability to avoid it. immunity.