(CTN News) – A subvariant of omicron COVID, BA.4.6 , has now been confirmed to be spreading in the UK . BA.4.6 now accounts for more than 9% of recent cases across the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Several other countries have also identified the variant. The COVID-19 virus is like any other virus: it mutates and changes over time. There are times when these changes are for the better, and sometimes when they are for the worse. There are times when they make the virus less deadly, while there are times when they make it more transmissible. The UK and the rest of the world must understand these changes to find a way through the viral landscape. Omicron BA.4.6 is the latest mutation to catch the attention of the UKHSA (the United Kingdom Health Security Agency). A technical briefing published earlier this month by the UKHSA stated: ” Omicron sub-lineage BA.4.6 was identified as part of horizon scanning on 15 August 2022.”. On 1 … [Read more...] about Omicron BA.4.6: Symptoms to Watch For As New COVID Variant Spreads in UK
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin The Omicron variant has lately been surging across Italy, as the country registered peaks of 220,000 daily cases with as much as 16% of the total Covid-19 tests coming back positive. Amid the rapid spread of Omicron, Serie A executives considered postponing the league but eventually opted to shrink attendance numbers in soccer stadiums. What are the financial implications weighing on the league as Serie A clubs prepare to restrict turnout to a maximum of 5,000 fans? Lowering Fan Attendance In Stadiums Last week, Prime Minister Mario Draghi reached out to Gabriele Gravina, the president of Italy’s governing body of soccer FIGC. Draghi asked Gravina that Italian soccer take further precautionary steps in light of the high number of Covid-19 cases detected among the population. Postponing the league for two weeks was one of the possible scenarios, and one that would have given the country some time to … [Read more...] about In Wake Of Omicron Surge, Serie A Set 5,000-Fan Limit In Stadiums. What Are The Financial Implications?
Japanese scientists found that the omicron strain of Covid-19 is at least 40% more deadly than seasonal flu, underscoring the danger of lifting pandemic curbs too quickly and underestimating the virus’s ongoing health risks. A recent analysis by scientists who advise Japan’s health ministry estimated the case-fatality rate for omicron at about 0.13%, based on excess deaths and infections since January. They said it is lower than the 4.25% case fatality rate seen earlier in the outbreak, but it is still higher than the 0.006% to 0.09% seen with seasonal flu. Related: BA 2 Omicron Cases on The Rise, Spread 30% More Quickly Around the world, mitigation measures have been loosened, from mask mandates to testing requirements, and countries are pushing for a return to normalcy. The public has become tired of restrictions, and the reduced severity Omicron has reassured many that the rules are no longer necessary. Although Japan has not formally downgraded its condition, it is … [Read more...] about Omicron Death Rate Is 40% Higher Than Seasonal Flu, Study Finds
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Were the original Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 mRNA vaccines tested on humans before receiving emergency use authorization (EUA) in late 2020 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? Absolutely. Thousands of them. How about the monovalent booster versions of these vaccines designed to protect against the original severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2)? Yes, indeedy. Lots. OK, so what about the new bivalent booster vaccines designed to protect against both the original SARS-CoV-2 and the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants? Well, to borrow the title from a 2009 rom-com, it’s complicated. If you recall, on August 31, the FDA announced that they had amended the original Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 mRNA vaccine EUA’s to include their new bivalent boosters. As I covered for Forbes on September 5 , these bivalent boosters include two types of mRNA as opposed to the … [Read more...] about Have The New Bivalent Covid-19 Vaccine Boosters Been Tested On Humans?
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin This is part of a continuing series describing antiviral antibodies to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. In this series, we will discuss the fundamental nature of virus evolution, how SARS-CoV-2 has mutated to evade neutralizing antibodies, and our latest attempts to fight against these mutations with more recent and improved antibody candidates. SARS-CoV-2 variants that evade the immune system are characteristic of the Covid-19 pandemic. As novel SARS-CoV-2 variants develop new mutations, their evasion from existing treatments and vaccines continues to increase. Antibodies from vaccines wane after a few months, antibodies from previous infections are often ineffective, and monoclonal antibody therapies that worked against earlier variants struggle against current variants. The current state of the pandemic has sparked a search for monoclonal antibodies that neutralize not one but all variants to counter these new … [Read more...] about Progress In The Search For Broadly Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibodies VIII
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Here, we draw attention to a variant, BA.4.6, which is the latest variant spreading in the United States. We note in this summary that BA.4.6 contains five amino acid changes distinct from the currently dominant BA.5 variant and seventeen nucleotide changes, which all may act to improve viral fitness and trigger a new wave of the pandemic. The World Health Organization sees the light at the end of the tunnel. The expression that comes to mind for Covid-19, stemming from the days of the Vietnam War protests, recalls a different perspective: I see a tunnel at the end of the tunnel. In particular, given our current state of understanding of viral variants, there is reason to believe that the next few years will closely resemble our recent experience of successive waves of new variants, each well adapted to spread in a previously vaccinated and/or infected population. Coronaviruses are very well adapted to reinfection of … [Read more...] about Will The BA.4.6 Variant Drive The Next Wave Of The Covid-19 Pandemic?
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Just as a chameleon changes its color to avoid predators, SARS-CoV-2 continues mutating to enhance its infectivity and immune evasion. As President Biden declares the pandemic over, the virus continues to evolve and infect steadily. 2022 is the year of the Omicron family of variants, and another version has emerged, adding itself to the evergrowing list. Here, we describe the new Omicron variant, BA.2.75.2, and why we caution it at this early stage of its detection. As its name implies, BA.2.75.2 is derived from its parent: BA.2.75. At the time of writing, BA.2.75 accounts for less than 1% of global SARS-CoV-2 infections, though the ancestral BA.2 variant drove the major wave of infections in early 2022. Why are we interested in BA.2.75.2 if its direct parent is not widely prevalent? The answer lies in its immune evasion. BA.2.75 is among the most immune evasive SARS-CoV-2 variants, evading both the host immune response and … [Read more...] about Waiting In The Wings: A Potential New Variant Of SARS-CoV-2
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Things are looking up again in Northern Europe, but not in a good way. As the weather has been getting cooler and drier in that part of the world, something not so cool has been happening with reported Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations. Over the past few weeks, these numbers have been rising, as Helen Colis recently reported for POLITICO . For example, from about the second to the third week in September, Belgium has had a 17 percent jump in reported Covid-19 cases and a four percent rise in reported Covid-19-related hospitalizations . Meanwhile, Denmark had a six percent bump up in reported Covid-19 hospitalizations , and the United Kingdom has had a 13 percent upswing in the number of reported new Covid-19 cases and a 17 percent upswing in the number of reported Covid-19 hospitalizations. Will this be another here we go again moment, in the words of The Weeknd? Throughout the course of the pandemic, nearly every … [Read more...] about Northern Europe: Covid-19 Cases, Hospitalizations Rising Again Raising Concerns Of New Wave
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Ari Rastegar is CEO of Rastegar Property Company , a vertically integrated real estate company with a focus on value-oriented real estate. When interest rates rise, mostly in periods of economic expansion, various asset classes react uniquely. Rising rates erode the principal of bonds, affect the value of stocks and other financial assets and influence interest payments on debt. However, real estate investments have the characteristic of performing well in a rising rate environment. In particular, income-generating real property and multifamily have historically — and as I’ve witnessed from experience as an investor and developer — shown a greater ability to grow net income during expansionary periods than securities and other assets. Let’s look at our position with inflation and the way real estate is faring under the pressure. Looking At Current Inflation Figures On Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, the … [Read more...] about How Rising Interest Rates And Inflation Impact Real Estate Investments
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Like most hard-working Americans, Willie Cousins is burning both ends of the candle to maintain housing, food and other necessities for his wife and two children. In 2020, this lifelong resident of Illinois and his family voted for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. As has often been the case for African Americans, Cousins’ economic issues are inextricably tied to race. As an African-American man with African-American children residing in an African-American community, Cousins can't detach his economic reality from racial inequities highlighted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. "For myself, my family and my community, economics is a racial issue," said Cousins, 36. "COVID-19 has caused so much death and despair in our community and the pandemic is just the tip of the iceberg. For decades, we have suffered from the impact of predatory lending, gentrification and the loss of good jobs and opportunity in … [Read more...] about African-American Struggles Show In Presidential Approval Ratings