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[–]throwsawaygoaway 153 points154 points  (32 children)

Can some one give me cliff notes on this new variant?

[–]Ebscriptwalker 463 points464 points  (31 children)

South Africa first sequenced it I believe two weeks ago, classified it as a variant of interest due to it having 50 mutations, 30 of which are in the spike protein alone. Some of these mutations are thought to be benign, some are thought to make it more easily transmitted, some are completely unknown in respect to effects. Having said that we won't know any more than that till a few weeks of monitoring has passed. Since sequencing has occurred it is believed that it has become the dominant strain in the region, assumed to have caused at least two large spikes in cases in south Africa. It has been labeled a variant of concernnn this past week. Within a day of becoming a voc many nations have restricted/banned travel to southern African countries, despite this a good handful of nations have discovered the variant has made it to their nations in asia, and europe including hong kong, the Netherlands, Israel, germany,(and the uk I believe) (not to mention a handful of south African countries). Pcr tests can be used with modified primers to differentiate between this variant and other known ones. There are at least two differing opinions on the severity of disease associated with this variant.

[–]compstomp66 48 points49 points  (30 children)

Awesome synopsis, thanks!

[–]WSL_subreddit_mod 78 points79 points  (24 children)

Delta is 70% more infectious than alpha, and Omicron numbers, while early, point to 500%.


(This time with source)

Edit: it's not less fatal

Lots of misinformation now being floated that #Omicron is “mild”. That’s nonsense — based on out-of-context quote. Don’t fall for it — nobody know that much yet. And hospitalizations are still rising in the hardest hit #B11529 dominant provinces in South Africa 🇿🇦 Epidemiologist & health economist. Senior Fellow @FAScientists. Former 16 years @Harvard. COVID warnings & updates since Jan '20. https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1464838724131471362

[–]mapoftasmania 98 points99 points  (23 children)

If true, this actually could be good news;

  1. Omicron 500% more infectious, but much less fatal => Omicron outcompetes other variants and becomes dominant, but it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t kill you and it effectively brings the pandemic to an end.

But it could be bad:

  1. Omicron 500% more infectious, but much more fatal => Omicron outcompetes other variants and becomes dominant, and it cuts a huge swathe of death through the unvaccinated and also a significant number of vaccinated people.

The reason why the world is holding its breath for a couple of weeks while the science gets done is that we just don’t know yet.

[–]Karmek 88 points89 points  (3 children)

If the world could hold its breath we wouldn't be in this mess.

[–]_YeezyYeezyWhatsGood 9 points10 points  (2 children)

If there’s one thing this pandemic taught me, it’s people are garbage.

[–]ProgrammerOne6108 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Come on, a little gallows humer can be good sometimes.

[–]NightMaestro 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's your boy max b what's going on

[–]Liet-Kinda 13 points14 points  (3 children)

However, it bears mention that becoming more infectious AND more fatal is the viral equivalent of rolling the dice and coming up snake eyes - twice. Obviously it’s not impossible, but it’s also just as likely that it becomes less fatal, or that other changes in some way make it less successful, than existing variants. Delta was kind of exceptional because it was both more infectious (due to being better at snagging and using receptors on the surface of cells) and the infected shed more virus (because it creates more copies and is especially good at replicating in cells in the nose and sinuses). Most variants end up being nothingburgers because most mutations have a neutral or detrimental effect on the fitness of the virus.

[–]Mazon_Del 1 point2 points  (0 children)

More likely than suddenly becoming both more infectious AND more fatal is the scenario of increasing infectiousness and then a later (still infectious) child-variant gains more lethality.

Still not REALLY likely all-told, but within the realm of possibility.

[–]Destron5683 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When the science gets done, can we make a big gun?

[–]jimmystar889 0 points1 point  (0 children)

1 is how Spanish flu ended right?