Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
13 mutations, huh.

Let's recap evolution of broadcast "threat" levels: about one week after South African beta collided with UK alpha, two weeks into First World BioNTech-Pfizer/Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine launch, and six months before 2021's delta-branded "wave" eliminated the 2020 variants of interest and concern.

ecdc | Rapid increase of a SARS-CoV-2 varient with multiple spike protein mutations observed in the United Kingdom, 20 Dec 2020

Over the last few weeks, the United Kingdom (UK) has faced a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in South East England, leading to enhanced epidemiological and virological investigations. Analysis of viral genome sequence data identified a large proportion of cases belonged to a new single pylogenetic cluster. The new variant is defined by [9] spike protein mutations (deletion 69-70, deletion 144, N501Y, 4570D, D614G, P681H, T716I, 6982A, D1118H) present as well as mutations in other genomic regions. While it is known and expected that virus constantly change through mutation leading to the emergence of new variants, preliminary analysis in the UK suggests that this variant is significantly more transmissible than previously circulating variants, with an estimated potential to increase the reproductive number (R) by 0.4 or greater with an estimated increased transmissibility of up to 70%. This new variant has emerged at a time of the year when there has traditionally been increased family and social mixing. There is no indication at this point of increased infection severity associated with the new variant. A few cases with the new variant have to date been reported by Denmark and the Netherlands and, according to media reports, in Belgium.
Nextstrain.org classification, nomenclature, and their consequences, 6 Jan 2021
Finally, there is the issue where if 20A.EU1 did expand to >20% global frequency, it would be confusing to relabel it from 20A.EU1 to, for example, 20E.

Consequently, we propose an updated [nomenclature] strategy, where major (year-letter) clades are named when any of the following criteria are hit:

  1. A clade reaches >20% global frequency for 2 or more months
  2. A clade reaches >30% regional frequency for 2 or more months
  3. A VOC (`variant of concern') is recognized (applies currently to 501Y.V1 and 501Y.V220B , GISAID clade GR, lineage B.1.1.7. Phylogenetic analysis (Figure 4) reveals that there are very few intermediary forms between this variant and other circulating viruses reported to GISAID. The cluster differs by 29 nucleotide substitutions from the original Wuhan strain ["pre-alpha"], which is higher than current molecular clock estimates of around two substitutions per genome per month
What these facts communicate to me is not perfect information, but a formula for scheduling phase changes to government notices of PI + NPI rationale.

Moreover, given last weeks announcement of brand "omicron"--while C.1.2 (May 2020) doubtless slowly mutated as it circulated worldwide by commercial transit. Patent "outbreak" headlines and talking points a triggered by foregone conclusions to limited laboratory "detection" established place: global frequency >20%--absolute count over time--not newly "discovered" cases.

What irks me isn't so much errors in pseudo-scientific theory and practice , but the arrogance of First World "leadership" in pursuit of totally perverse domination.

by Cat on Mon Dec 6th, 2021 at 01:26:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series