Thursday, March 25, 2021
New coronavirus variant, described as 'double mutant', reported in India | India | The Guardian Health officials said the new variant had not been detected in large enough numbers to link it to the surge in cases in Maharashtra and other states including Kerala and Punjab. Epidemiologists said the term “double mutant” refers to a new variant that has the characteristics of two already identified variants. “Double mutant is not a scientific term. It is just another mutant which seems to be unique to India,” said Ramanan Laxminarayan, founder of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in New Delhi. Delhi reportedly halts AstraZeneca Covid vaccine exports as cases soar Read more “Is there a reason to be worried about this particular variant? Not as yet, because we have no evidence that these variants are more transmissible or more lethal than what we already have,” he added.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
New coronavirus strain detected in India | TheHill A new coronavirus strain has been detected in India, the nation's health ministry announced on Wednesday, but officials have not yet determined if the variant is contributing to a surge of cases in the country. An analysis of samples from the Maharashtra state found that there was an increase in the percentage of samples with two specific mutations, the health ministry wrote. The mutations that showed up in approximately 15 to 20 percent of the samples tested did not match any previously catalogued variants, it noted.
Monday, March 15, 2021
UK COVID-19 variant has significantly higher death rate, study finds | Reuters A highly infectious variant of COVID-19 that has spread around the world since it was first discovered in Britain late last year is between 30% and 100% more deadly than previous dominant variants, researchers said on Wednesday. In a study that compared death rates among people in Britain infected with the new SARS-CoV-2 variant - known as B.1.1.7 - against those infected with other variants of the COVID-19-causing virus, scientists said the new variant’s mortality rate was “significantly higher”. (Kelland, 3/10)
Saturday, March 13, 2021
California healthcare workers didn't know they were fighting a new variant this winter. Their trauma should be a warning.
California healthcare workers didn't know they were fighting a new variant this winter. Their trauma should be a warning.: The CAL.20C variant was first identified in Los Angeles in July, then disappeared from the record until October. But by January, it accounted for 44% of Southern California coronavirus samples in one study, and more than half of California samples in another. Several other factors contributed to Southern California's winter surge - holiday travel, crowded housing, pandemic fatigue - but many researchers think the variant played a role.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Brazil variant evaded up to 61% of immunity in previous Covid cases | Coronavirus | The Guardian I'm starting to freak out a little. “Our current vaccines have not yet been studied against this variant and we’re working to understand what impact it might have, but we do know that this variant has caused significant challenges in Brazil, so we’re doing all we can to stop the spread of this new variant in the UK, to analyse its effects and to develop an updated vaccine that works on all these variants of concern and protect the progress that we’ve made as a nation,” said Hancock.
Monday, March 1, 2021
The Raging Evolutionary War Between Humans and Covid-19 | WIRED This is one of the better, recent articles on Covid mutation and worth checking out. All acknowledged the dangerous game of chicken that humanity is playing with viral evolution right now, but they also said that any vaccination was, at this point, better than none, or trying to game-theory the game. And so far, the vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 seem very effective. “I wouldn’t underestimate, evolutionarily speaking, what even a not-super-great vaccine can do. It’s like, yeah, maybe transmission happens, but maybe the bottleneck is tighter, or fewer viruses make it across. That might be enough to slow the virus down enough that it just peters out over time,” Lauring says. “You start reducing these numbers in every way, you cut down the chances for these mutations to take off. I’m not shedding as much, not as many viruses get across, other people have enough immunity that those few viruses, it’s like, boop, no problem.”
Opinion | Omicron Is Not the Final Variant - The New York Times : The world got lucky with Omicron. It’s unimaginable what would have happen...
California covid variant B.1.427/B.1.429 is more transmissible, studies show - The Washington Post But evidence from other countries sugge...
Coronavirus Variant Tracker - The New York Times This piece has some find dataviz:
India Is What Happens When Rich People Do Nothing - The Atlantic India’s economic liberalization in the ’90s brought with it a rapid expan...