Variants of the SARS COVID 2 virus – What it is that them buggers do, so don’t panic till you’re told to. By scientists!

Variants of the SARS COVID 2 virus – What it is that them buggers do, so don’t panic till you’re told to. By scientists!

A virus mutates because it has made a copying error, like your computer does when processing the data you send on it. It does this to survive, You’ve seen them on sites you try to get into, right? Like a 502 or 503 error code.

It bumps up against something that it doesn’t know how to deal with, so it gets all shook up and crashes. Edits itself then moves on with the new data code. It gets tossed into a new environ and takes a breath to see how it can survive there, edits itself, then moves on with the new code. Some strains die, some get weaker, some hang around for a bit, and some become robust.

And here we are again, with people panicking over the new name out there in the public lexicon. What seems Greek to you isn’t so much to those experts who are assaying these buggers though. The Greek letter is just a name in order, not a comment on how robust it is, in other words. (They might skip Omega for eg)

So get the vaccines as they come to you and continue following public health advisories in your area.

(BTW, South Africa has been dealing with viruses that you prob have never seen near you. So if they say something is, it prob is.)

Viruses have been around, prob longer than we have. And prob will outlast us.

Our bigger issue is the climate crisis.

…. resources

  • All viruses mutate.
  • RNA viruses are actually slow, compared to other viruses

Coronavirus Mutation: Why does the coronavirus change?

  • Variants of viruses occur when there is a change — or mutation — to the virus’s genes. Ray says it is the nature of RNA viruses such as the coronavirus to evolve and change gradually. “Geographic separation tends to result in genetically distinct variants,” he says.
  • Mutations in viruses — including the coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic — are neither new nor unexpected. Bollinger explains: “All RNA viruses mutate over time, some more than others. For example, flu viruses change often, which is why doctors recommend that you get a new flu vaccine every year.”

A variant of high consequence

is a variant for which current vaccines do not offer protection. As of now, there are no SARS-CoV-2 variants of high consequence.

Are there additional COVID-19 precautions for the new coronavirus variants?

Bollinger says that as of now, none of the new coronavirus variants call for any new prevention strategies. “We need to continue doing the basic precautions that we know work to interrupt spread of the virus,” he says.John Hopkins

……

  • Two SARS-CoV-2 viruses collected from anywhere in the world differ by an average of just 10 RNA letters out of 29,903, says Lucy Van Dorp,
  • Despite the virus’s sluggish mutation rate, researchers have catalogued more than 12,000 mutations in SARS-CoV-2 genomes. But scientists can spot mutations faster than they can make sense of them.
  • Many mutations will have no consequence for the virus’s ability to spread or cause disease, because they do not alter the shape of a protein, whereas those mutations that do change proteins are more likely to harm the virus than improve it
  • “It is a possibility, but by no means a certainty, that the virus will acquire mutations that change its susceptibility to antibodies and immunity,” says Bloom. Based on experience with other coronaviruses, that might take years. nature

…….

Variants of Concern (VOC)

Working definition:
A SARS-CoV-2 variant that meets the definition of a VOI (see below) and, through a comparative assessment, has been demonstrated to be associated with one or more of the following changes at a degree of global public health significance:

  • Increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology; OR
  • Increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation; OR
  • Decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics.

Variants of Interest (VOI)

Working definition
A SARS-CoV-2 variant :

  • with genetic changes that are predicted or known to affect virus characteristics such as transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape, diagnostic or therapeutic escape; AND
  • Identified to cause significant community transmission or multiple COVID-19 clusters, in multiple countries with increasing relative prevalence alongside increasing number of cases over time, or other apparent epidemiological impacts to suggest an emerging risk to global public health.

Variants Under Monitoring (VUM)

Working definition
A SARS-CoV-2 variant with genetic changes that are suspected to affect virus characteristics with some indication that it may pose a future risk, but evidence of phenotypic or epidemiological impact is currently unclear, requiring enhanced monitoring and repeat assessment pending new evidence. WHO – is this mutation ‘of interest’ or a ‘concern’?

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