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On Dutch television a leading doctor spoke out of the "deplorable" state of healthcare and monitoring in South Africa causing the rise of variants. How very ugly and dumb can one be calling himself a "scientist" and earning bucks in his/her profession.

Omicron in South Africa: The Latest News | John Hopkins Review |

This variant was first recognized in South Africa. How did that happen?

GG: It was identified in an area near Johannesburg and Pretoria. A private laboratory that does PCR testing picked up on one of the tests an "S-gene target failure"--an anomaly in their testing strategy. This continued in several tests. They notified the virologists who do surveillance in our country and sent the samples for sequencing, [which revealed] a lot of mutations and deletions.

The new variant came as a surprise, and over a two-week period, we saw it rapidly become the predominant variant circulating in the Gauteng area. Initially, we thought it was a breakout amongst university students, but community transmission fueled the wave in South Africa.

What does this say about South Africa's capacity for identifying a signal and then being able to investigate?

CB: We are all deeply in the debt of the South African scientists and public health system for identifying this early. In pandemics, time really matters. There's been a long-standing collaborative investment-- principally around HIV, but also TB and other conditions--in laboratory infrastructure that has made South Africa a critical scientific partner in research and vaccine trials. Their ability to do molecular surveillance, pick up new variants of COVID, sequence them, and understand at a population level the emerging epidemiology, is critically important.

What have you learned since the identification? What kind of surveillance, monitoring, and understanding has resulted?

GG: The first time the virologists looked at the new variant, they were horrified [by] its mutations. There was concern about how this virus works against the vaccines that we have. The scientists raised the alarm to alert our country, our president, and minister of health that there was a new variant, and publicly shared this with WHO and the international community.

We have teams [conducting] hospital and genetic surveillance, teams monitoring vaccine effectiveness, and teams modeling the reproductive rate. We've all worked together to answer questions for South Africa and the global community. We've held regular meetings with the NIH to give them up-to-date information. We've rapidly worked to establish vaccine effectiveness, and whether to bring in boosters earlier and more frequently.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 23rd, 2021 at 09:52:31 AM EST
South Africa's decline in new COVID-19 cases may indicate omicron peak has passed

Some health officials in New York have suggested that because South Africa appears to have experienced a quick, mild wave of omicron, the variant may behave similarly there and elsewhere in the U.S. But Nunes cautions against jumping to those conclusions.

"Each setting, each country is different. The populations are different. The demographics of the population, the immunity is different in different countries," she said. South Africa's population, with an average age of 27, is more youthful than many Western countries, for instance.

Most of the patients currently being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals are unvaccinated, Uekermann emphasized. About 40 percent of adult South Africans have been inoculated with two doses.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 23rd, 2021 at 09:53:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Just like any virus when leaving a backdoor open ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 23rd, 2021 at 09:54:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One area in rural Colorado is at 170 per 100,000, and Omicron has barely started here.
by asdf on Sun Dec 26th, 2021 at 04:55:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The thing is that the difference between just started and everyone is infected is about a week. Turns out running an arms race between our immune system and a quadrillion virus generations through five billion people is unwise.
by generic on Sun Dec 26th, 2021 at 05:49:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, the Boeing 707 will be noted in the history books as the machine that allowed people to get from a remote village on one continent to a remote village on another continent in two days. Previous timelines of travel and quarantine reduced by a couple of orders of magnitude.
by asdf on Mon Dec 27th, 2021 at 12:25:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SARS-CoV-2 a novel coronavirus | DynaMed |

Mortality secondary to COVID-19 is highly variable and related to age, severity of disease, and comorbidities. Estimated mortality is

    0.3%-2.3% for all patients.
    10%-23% for hospitalized patients.
    26%-50% for patients admitted to the ICU.
    37%-88% for patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

Related reading ...
Genomic epidemiology identifies emergence and rapid transmission of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 [Alpha] in the United States | NCBI - Feb. 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 23rd, 2021 at 09:55:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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