COVID-19 variants

variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with a different genetic sequence

There are many variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Some are believed, or have been stated, to be of particular importance due to their potential for increased transmissibility, increased virulence, or reduced effectiveness of vaccines against them. These variants contribute to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the better known have been: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and more recently Omicron.

QuotesEdit

In chronological order

 
China has a population that’s very vulnerable to this new variant. [Omicron] is a much more contagious variant, it’s going to be harder to control ~Dr. Scott Gottlieb
  • I look at this through a lens of evolution. Early on in the pandemic, I anticipated this would go at least 18 months. That was because the only real perspective I had to understand what this coronavirus might look like was previous influenza pandemics. And I think that many of us assumed that at some point it would become a seasonal infection like influenza after two years or so.
    I got a rude awaking earlier this year in March and April when I saw the new Alpha variant emerge as well as the Beta and Gamma variants, and I had a sense that this was going to change how the pandemic would unfold. As a result, I thought that some of the darkest days of the pandemic would be ahead of us and that was at a time in the spring when case numbers were dropping markedly in the United States and vaccine was flowing. But I realized that variants were like 210-mile-an-hour curveballs, and we couldn't predict if they might have increased transmissibility or the ability to cause severe illness. This conclusion was not popular among many of my colleagues and policy makers.
  • [other countries had seen omicron’s fast growth, but the U.S. data showed] a remarkable jump in such a short time
  • [it’s unclear how much milder omicron really is compared with other variants]. That’s the big uncertainty now
  • Let’s face the facts: Omicron is no big deal. The media, always desperate to panic gullible souls and spread fear, began the countdown to Armageddon and it’s still counting. Actually, Omicron deftly evades antibodies, which are part of the body’s first defenders, but that is Omicron’s only strength. Ironically, those who have been vaccinated, as I have, are more prone to an Omicron attack. Vaccine-induced antibodies perform much worse against Omicron than against other variants. But it’s no big deal. Boosters lessen these infections. I’m 85, and I drink and smoke and stay up late, yet after three days I was once again training and carousing, although I did feel rather funny when starting up again.
  • Scientists from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), along with national and international experts, are actively monitoring and evaluating this recombinant sub-lineage and the associated studies
[The agency is looking at signs that] XE changes disease severity, transmissibility or impacts the effectiveness of diagnostic tests, vaccines or treatments for COVID-19
  • What is particularly troubling about the newest Omicron wave - not just in the United States but worldwide - is that it appears to hitting highly vaccinated states and countries much more heavily than less vaccinated areas.

External linksEdit

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