COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates: Saturday / Sunday, Dec. 4-5


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By inserting this particular snippet into itself, Omicron might be making itself look “more human,” which would help it evade attack by the human immune system, said Venky Soundararajan of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based data analytics firm nference, who led the study posted on Thursday on the website OSF Preprints.

This could mean the virus transmits more easily, while only causing mild or asymptomatic disease. Scientists do not yet know whether Omicron is more infectious than other variants, whether it causes more severe disease or whether it will overtake Delta as the most prevalent variant. It may take several weeks to get answers to these questions…

The same genetic sequence appears many times in one of the coronaviruses that causes colds in people – known as HCoV-229E – and in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS, Soundararajan said.

South Africa, where Omicron was first identified, has the world’s highest rate of HIV, which weakens the immune system and increases a person’s vulnerability to infections with common-cold viruses and other pathogens. In that part of the world, there are many people in whom the recombination that added this ubiquitous set of genes to Omicron might have occurred, Soundararajan said…

More research is needed to confirm the origins of Omicron’s mutations and their effects on function and transmissibility. There are competing hypotheses that the latest variant might have spent some time evolving in an animal host.

In the meantime, Soundararajan said, the new findings underscore the importance of people getting the currently available COVID-19 vaccines.

“You have to vaccinate to reduce the odds that other people, who are immunocompromised, will encounter the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” Soundararajan said.

… “In our study we found that the risk of infection without wearing masks is enormously high after only a few minutes, even at a distance of three meters, if the infected persons have the high viral load of the delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” says Eberhard Bodenschatz. And such encounters are unavoidable in schools, restaurants, clubs or even outdoors.

As high as the risk of infection is without mouth-nose protection, medical or FFP2 masks protect effectively. The Göttingen study confirms that FFP2 or KN95 masks are particularly effective in filtering infectious particles from the air breathed—especially if they are as tightly sealed as possible at the face. If both the infected and the non-infected person wear well-fitting FFP2 masks, the maximum risk of infection after 20 minutes is hardly more than one per thousand, even at the shortest distance. If their masks fit poorly, the probability of infection increases to about four percent. If both wear well-fitting medical masks, the virus is likely to be transmitted within 20 minutes with a maximum probability of ten percent. The study also confirms the intuitive assumption that for effective protection against infection, in particular the infected person should wear a mask that filters as well as possible and fits tightly to the face…

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As others pointed out, not much point arguing with someone who believes in ‘Jewish space lasers’

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