“You may not know it by looking around at all those unmasked faces, but there are still a lot of new coronaviruses,” notes Ax. “And it seems that the virus is mutating faster than ever, producing increasingly contagious variants and subvariants. The evolutionary trend of SARS-CoV-2 may not mean that there are large increases in infections, hospitalizations and deaths, at least not in everywhere but for a long time, but it underscores an uncomfortable truth: that despite the lifting of COVID restrictions in most countries other than China, despite the eagerness of many people to overcome the pain and uncertainty In the last two years, the pandemic has not ended. The virus has not completely mutated. ”
It remains to be seen to what extent future COVID-19 mutations will be dangerous.
“The latest subvariants are the most transmissible so far,” notes Ax. “BA.4 and BA.5, both descendants of the Omicron variant, first appeared in South Africa last month. BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1, closely related, first appeared in New York at the same time. BA.4 and BA.5 are 10% more contagious than their immediate predecessor, Omicron’s BA.2 form. BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1 are 25% more contagious. Equally alarming, BA.4, BA.5, BA.2.12 and B.2.12.1 are rapidly becoming dominant in their respective regions of origin just a couple of months after BA.2 became dominant. ”
Ax points out, however, that while “new major subvariants seem to be reaching us faster and faster,” COVID-19’s “genetic victories” could be short-lived.
Comparing the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19, Ax points out that while Omicron has been more infectious than Delta, it has not been as deadly.
“Cases increased as Omicron became dominant, but deaths did not,” Ax explains. “The deadliest day of the rise of Omicron on February 9 (2022), 13,000 people died worldwide, 5,000 less than the worst day of Delta on January 20, 2021.”
Ax offers good and bad news regarding COVID-19.
The journalist writes: “A growing gap between infections and deaths could actually be the best scenario, if the new coronavirus miraculously” self-extinguishes “by being in a genetic corner … The bad news is that we will probably have to “Learning to deal with the increasingly contagious variants and sub-variants of SARS-CoV-2 is emerging more and more rapidly. The good news is that we know how to deal with it.”
Since its emergence in Wuhan, China in late 2019, COVID-19 has killed more than 6.2 million people worldwide, including more than 996,000 people in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. These figures would be even higher if it were not for COVID-19 vaccines.
“Expect to hear a lot about new lineages and sub-lineages in the coming months as they emerge and become dominant at an accelerated pace,” Ax writes. “Don’t be surprised if you get one, even if you’re vaccinated and strengthened and may even have antibodies from a past infection. But don’t panic. Keep up to date with your vaccines and you’ll probably get better. “Unless, of course, the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 is taking a dangerous turn.”
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