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posted by janrinok on Thursday January 13, @04:32AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the I-hope-it's-only-the-legs-half dept.

Omicron May Infect Half of Europeans Within Weeks, WHO Says:

More than half of Europe's population could become infected with omicron within weeks at current transmission speeds, a World Health Organization official said.

The fast-spreading variant represents a "west-to-east tsunami sweeping the region," Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, said in a briefing Tuesday.

He cited the Institute for Metrics and Health Assessment forecast that most Europeans could take it within the next six to eight weeks. The latest Covid surge has resulted in fewer symptomatic cases and lower death rates than in previous waves, fueling optimism that the pandemic may subside.


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  • (Score: 0, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @04:57AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @04:57AM (#1212329)

    They all got socialized medicine, so they're all taken care of, it'll be over in a week

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday January 13, @06:40PM (2 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @06:40PM (#1212470) Journal

      It's no worse than the flu. They have Ivermectin, Hydroxychloriquine, clorox and the latest treatment . . . urine!

      --
      While in an airport, never use the word "balm".
      • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Thursday January 13, @08:03PM (1 child)

        by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @08:03PM (#1212505) Homepage Journal

        Historical fact:

        When pennicillin was still the latest invention and was scarce, they used to collect the urine of patients treated with penicillin because it contained enough penicillin to treat other patients.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday January 13, @09:33PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @09:33PM (#1212526) Journal

          So are you suggesting that we collect the urine of people who have had covid vaccine to treat other patients?

          --
          While in an airport, never use the word "balm".
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:18AM (27 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:18AM (#1212333)

    Not an expert here, but is this still a thing? Would this strain help develop that?

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by tekk on Thursday January 13, @05:22AM (13 children)

      by tekk (5704) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @05:22AM (#1212336)

      This largely depends on how good natural immunity is. Most of the studies so far afaik have said that vaccine coverage is pretty good but natural immunity tends to be more specific so variants are more likely to get around it (catching Wild, then catching Delta, then catching Omicron etc.)

      If, for example, Omicron (which seems to be fairly mild) confers immunity to some theoretical nastier variant then it might be possible to get to herd immunity by way of basically uncontrolled inoculation. This is basically how pandemics worked in the past as far as I can tell: we're getting closer to the end of Covid as a pandemic if others in the last few centuries are an example: they mostly burn themselves out within 5 years or so. Of course we're a lot more connected globally than we were back then, so we'll see how it plays out.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:44AM (12 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:44AM (#1212338)

        Cholera, Polio, HIV didn't burn out in 5 years.

        Influenza didn't - it just recombines so much that we don't consider it the same disease year after year.

        Beware whatever source is pushing these ideas to you. They are wrong, whether intentionally maliciously, or simply incompetently.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @08:55AM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @08:55AM (#1212371)

          HIV is still not a danger to anyone except people who take it up the ass without a condom from strange men (generally, homosexual men) or IV drug users who share used needles.

          For some reason, in sub Saharan Africa, apparently heterosexuals get it, but nowhere else, really.

          • (Score: 4, Informative) by Freeman on Thursday January 13, @03:10PM

            by Freeman (732) on Thursday January 13, @03:10PM (#1212422) Journal

            Anyone who has lots of sexual partners is at risk for the, typically sexually transmitted disease, AIDs/HIV. This is, because it's transferred via bodily fluid contact. Though, transmission via Saliva or Sweat isn't a thing, except via open wounds. Which again, isn't Saliva or Sweat.

            The reason why it's not a big thing in Developed nations is due to better Hospitals, essentially everything is cleaner / single use items aren't re-used / instruments are sanitized better.

            --
            Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:19PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:19PM (#1212443)

            Oh look everyone a homophobic moron!

          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday January 13, @06:43PM (1 child)

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @06:43PM (#1212473) Journal

            HIV is still not a danger to anyone except people who take it up the ass without a condom from strange men

            Until the Mayor's daughter gets it. Then suddenly, it's a danger to society.

            When straight clean beloved (by right wing) wholesome actors die from a blood transfusion, then it's different.

            --
            While in an airport, never use the word "balm".
            • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @05:53AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @05:53AM (#1212619)

              Funny thing is that a number of conservative christian groups actually recommended that their followers wear masks to avoid AIDS. Interesting to see how the "never can be too careful" argument has changed.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @10:50AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @10:50AM (#1212384)

          What ever happened to the Spanish flu of 1918? And they didn’t even have vaccines then!

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @02:58PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @02:58PM (#1212417)

            It is still circulating among us as a normal (not deadly) flu. It didn't "go away", and neither will this virus. The novel coronavirus will in the future be treated by an optional (hopefully) shot offered each year just like the flu shot is now.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @06:18PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @06:18PM (#1212455)

          Cholera, Polio, HIV didn't burn out in 5 years.

          Are these respiratory viruses?

          Influenza didn't - it just recombines so much that we don't consider it the same disease year after year.

          Yet continual reassortment rarely leads to pandemics.

          Beware whatever source is pushing these ideas to you. They are wrong, whether intentionally maliciously, or simply incompetently.

          You can't definitively say they are wrong without revealing your own arrogance and disregard for common consensus. The claims remain well founded upon historical observation. [healthline.com]

          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday January 13, @06:46PM (1 child)

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @06:46PM (#1212475) Journal

            Cholera, Polio, HIV didn't burn out in 5 years.
             

            Are these respiratory viruses?

            You could tell people to stop the spread of HIV by putting condiments on it. But will they? No way!

            --
            While in an airport, never use the word "balm".
            • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @07:16PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @07:16PM (#1212486)

              Your condiments are more effective at preventing AIDS than face diapers are at preventing Covid but the dynamics of natural selection are quite different. If you want relevance, understand that we treat HIV by hitting it with 3 or more antiretrovirals. [nih.gov]

              Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is a treatment regimen typically comprised of a combination of three or more antiretroviral drugs. HAART may also be called antiretroviral therapy (ART) or combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). A key cornerstone of HAART is the co-administration of different drugs that inhibit viral replication by several mechanisms so that the propagation of a virus with resistance to a single agent becomes inhibited by the action of the other two agents.

              This poses an evolutionary dilemma (a triple-bind) preventing mutation to more virulent or transmissible forms.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by tekk on Friday January 14, @05:01AM

          by tekk (5704) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 14, @05:01AM (#1212612)

          To clarify a bit: the diseases didn't go away, but they stopped being a pandemic. My source in this particular case was a paper from Frontiers in Microbiology, whose table you can see here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7874133/ [nih.gov]

          Covid spreads most similarly to Influenza and other Coronavirii rather than Cholera or HIV as far as I can tell, so I based it off of those numbers. MERS there is an outlier but from what I can tell it's not really comparable either: spread is almost entirely from contact with or consumption from infected camels, with human transmission rates below self-sustaining (we may see it mutate into something more like covid, though; who knows.)

          Now if you want to take this as an excuse to not get vaxxed, not mask, etc. then you're a damn idiot, but historically speaking it seems like Covid ought to be burning itself out within the next couple years as a global pandemic, where it'll drop down to "normal" levels where it'll only kill, say, a few tens of thousands of people a year like various strains of influenza do.

          Also to be clear I'm not a biologist, much less a virologist.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @05:24AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @05:24AM (#1212613)

          HIV is too dissimilar to SARS-CoV-2 to be a good comparison. You can count the number of people who actually fully recovered from HIV on your fingers. HIV can be suppressed - and that's great! Through antiviral therapy we've converted a deadly disease mostly into a chronic one. But close to nobody actually gets over it. You can't build herd immunity when you can't build individual immunity.

          Cholera isn't even a virus, nor does it spread through person to person contact (it's water-borne). Another disease where herd immunity isn't a relevant concept.

          Polio is the disease that probably is the most like COVID. It's an ordinary virus, although not one that's biologically closely related. Most people who get it are asymptomatic, and most of the rest have only a cold. Yet, the less than 1% of people who have severe symptoms can die or suffer lifelong disability. There's even "long polio." And herd immunity is a thing with polio (as it is with measles). The polio vaccine is 95% effective - which is not 100% - and that was enough to eliminate polio in developed nations. The only reason it didn't go extinct through naturally obtained immunity is a continuous supply of new children for it to infect. But nobody worried about just catching polio during their daily lives. This is the fundamental limitation on herd immunity. There are always new children joining the herd.

          Polio and measles have another lesson to teach us. Most people consider measles to be a mild, almost comical children's disease. And most people consider polio to be a horrible and terrifying plague. But measles is actually the more dangerous of the two. The difference is that in the popular imagination, the image of measles is kids with funny-looking spots reading comic books in bed, and the image of polio is rows of iron lungs in hospital wards. And measles has a silly name. But it's serious business. More dangerous than COVID, over a period of decades, anyway (not in the short term).

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:42AM (11 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:42AM (#1212337)

      Herd immunity via exposure to the pathogen is not a thing. Because of mutagenesis, which is fast enough in the immunorobust population, but which is also greatly accelerated in some immunocompromised people, in particular late stage HIV with out medication.

      So if everyone gets immunity from exposure, the # of mutation events will be so high that some of those will create strains with immune evasion against the ancestral strain.

      Herd immunity is only possible from nonpathogenic exposure - vaccines.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ChrisMaple on Thursday January 13, @06:57AM (6 children)

        by ChrisMaple (6964) on Thursday January 13, @06:57AM (#1212350)

        Pathogenic means disease-causing. If a virus does not cause a disease, in most cases nobody will even know if they've been infected. Therefor it is impossible to know if herd immunity has been achieved.

        You are implying than vaccines and nonpathogenic exposure are the same thing. That is not true.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by mhajicek on Thursday January 13, @07:11AM

          by mhajicek (51) on Thursday January 13, @07:11AM (#1212352)

          Pathogenic means having to do with a pathogen, which is something capable of causing disease, even if it doesn't always cause disease.

          --
          The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
        • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @07:44AM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @07:44AM (#1212360)

          Vaccines that aren't live virus are definitionally nonpathogenic.

          Disease which is not diagnosed is still disease. Cancer is a disease even before effects are so obvious that a diagnosis is sought.

          We have ample evidence showing multisystem impact across all survivors. Look at the brain mass data, or the vascular biopsies. Just because these may not always be so severe that the person seeks a diagnosis, doesn't mean they aren't real.

          it is impossible to know if herd immunity has been achieved.

          It's actually trivial to know. Does the sigmoid level off without a driving countermeasure, and then cases go to zero? No? Then it's herd immunity.

          But we will not see that with COVID, just like we will not see an unbiased coinflip get heads 200 times in a row, before the universe winks out. The statistics are simple and clear. We have no herd immunity vs rhinoviruses nor influenza, etc.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @03:08PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @03:08PM (#1212420)

            We do not have heard "immunity" from those viruses, but having been exposed to them provides a certain level of protection for variants we will be exposed to later. Usually, a person will be exposed to these viruses as a child and thus will train his immune system on it to provide protection against the worst effects should they catch it again later (or maybe just be largely immune to it). Suffice it to say that the worst part of the coronavirus is that older people did not have prior exposure to it and they are the most vulnerable population to any sort of health problems that can be exacerbated by a viral infection. The coronavirus is endemic now and just about everyone will have some level of protection from having caught it.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:16PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:16PM (#1212442)

            Vaccines that aren't live virus are definitionally nonpathogenic.

            Wrong, if the immune system didn't recognize the antigen there would be no antibody production. "Early Covid symptoms are no different to minor side effects from vaccines". [dailymail.co.uk]

            Disease which is not diagnosed is still disease.

            Correct.

            The statistics are simple and clear. We have no herd immunity vs rhinoviruses nor influenza, etc.

            Yes we do, in the form of cross immunity. Get it? [cnbc.com]

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @12:23AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @12:23AM (#1212551)

              if the immune system didn't recognize the antigen there would be no antibody production

              I think you don't understand what pathogenic means.

              Unless you mean that some people have side effects from vaccination, and you're calling that a disease? But that's garbage - a bruise isn't a disease, either. No, no. You simply don't understand. Please revisit basic concepts and definitions before trying to sit at the adult table.

              We have no herd immunity vs rhinoviruses nor influenza, etc.

              Yes we do, in the form of cross immunity.

              ...No, we don't. We definitely, 100%, do not have herd immunity vs rhinoviruses or influenza. If we did, they wouldn't be endemic.

              Cross immunity is another thing altogether and bringing it in here is like bringing Valencias into a conversation about the best apple.

              Get it?

              I really do, but I really don't think you do!

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @01:23AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @01:23AM (#1212562)

                I think you don't understand what pathogenic means.

                I do. You don't understand that vaccine side effects are (usually) mild disease from the introduction of an immunogen derived from a pathogen, this is what generates the immune response and protects you from more serious disease. It's how inoculations work. [doctorsreview.com] If an antigen were non-pathogenic, there could be no immune response.

                We definitely, 100%, do not have herd immunity vs rhinoviruses or influenza. If we did, they wouldn't be endemic.

                Why do you think immunity prevents infection, symptoms or transmission? It simply means the immune system can mount an effective immune response.

                Cross immunity is another thing altogether

                The key word is "immunity", there may be a clue there. Previous infection and vaccination are both forms of active immunity. Was the vaccine designed for Omicron or do these antibodies infer cross immunity comparable with infection from a previous variant?

                Get it?

                I really do, but I really don't think you do!

                Pffft!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:01PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:01PM (#1212438)

        Herd immunity via exposure to the pathogen is not a thing. Because of mutagenesis

        Wrong, herd immunity is achieved via interaction with cross-immunity. [nih.gov]

        Cross-reactive T-cells have been demonstrated in patients who have been previously exposed to endemic coronaviruses. The interplay of cross-immunity and herd immunity is apparent in the COVID-19 scenario in India from the presence of a large number of asymptomatic or mild cases, a low infection-fatality ratio and a generally flat curve of percentage positivity of cases with respect to total testing

        Herd immunity is only possible from nonpathogenic exposure - vaccines.

        How's that working for you? Ohh, wait the vaccine was developed against the original lab-escape variant. Guess that's cross-immunity too so your claim that herd immunity via exposure (to the pathogen or the vaccine) is not a thing is complete and utter bullshit!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @12:19AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @12:19AM (#1212549)

          That study doesn't say what you are implying it says. If India had achieved herd immunity in Dec 2020 then they wouldn't have had waves in 2021. Which they had. That study indicates herd immunity against the ancestral strain which is NOT what we mean by herd immunity in a conversation about Omicron or other variants.

          Guess that's cross-immunity too so your claim that herd immunity via exposure (to the pathogen or the vaccine) is not a thing is complete and utter bullshit!

          Can we get a "logic fail" mod please? Did I say cross-immunity was impossible? No, I said herd immunity for n-CoV-19 is impossible because of the rate of mutagenesis.

          Maybe you've missed the part where immunocompetent people have had second and third cases of COVID-19? Maybe you've missed the part where the mutation rate per host is high enough, and the # of humans in the world is high enough, that the derease in the exponent from exposure is overwhelmed by the increase in the exponent from mutated advantages?

          It's not fucking hard math.

          And you prove that you're a troll by equivocating exposure to vaccine and to virus. We have lots of evidence showing that vaccine immune response is stronger than post-infectious. First page of google scholar results.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @01:41AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @01:41AM (#1212566)

            Again, you fail to understand basic words. [medicalxpress.com]

            And you prove that you're a troll by equivocating exposure to vaccine and to virus. We have lots of evidence showing that vaccine immune response is stronger than post-infectious.

            Vaccine induced neutralizing antibodies will not stop you catching Omicron. If you're claiming they do, you are spreading misinformation... again!

      • (Score: 2) by legont on Friday January 14, @12:24AM

        by legont (4179) on Friday January 14, @12:24AM (#1212552)

        This one claims COVID vaccines promote mutations

        https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-021-01041-4 [nature.com]

        For the record, yes, I do agree with it as anything that does not kill you makes you stronger. Vaccine has to be close to 100% effective to work or it is worse than natural infection. That's why most vaccines are 100% and no AIDS one was ever approved.

        This is, off course, for the population. As an individual I do benefit from covid vaccine and had three of them already.

        --
        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @06:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @06:17PM (#1212453)

      There are so many world leading expert virologists here on soylentnews! I'm sure you'll get the correct answer. If not, the internet is full of experts. Find your truth!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:20AM (24 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:20AM (#1212334)

    fewer symptomatic cases and lower death rates ... the pandemic may subside.

    Whaaat?

    First, a higher asymptomatic rate means MORE spread, as those people are less likely to test and isolate, and more likely to end up being a high-N spreader.

    Second, asymptomatic cases still have extremely high rates of Long COVID, which we don't expect to "subside" in many or even most patients.

    Some reports suggest as low as 20% of asymptomatic people will experience Long COVID (citation: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-covid-quarter-covid-patients-symptomatic.html) [medicalxpress.com] but it looks like the reality is that it's a soft curve, not a hard elbow, and getting a diagnosis will just mean your symptoms are "bad enough" - but everyone should expect permanent downstream impact, just like they should if they were in a coma for 2 months (atrophying) or ate bad mushrooms (kidney and liver impairment).

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:49AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:49AM (#1212339)

      Ooops... 404 Error

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by kazzie on Thursday January 13, @05:50AM (17 children)

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @05:50AM (#1212340)

      I might be a bit slow here, but if you're asymptomatic, then you wouldn't have any Long Covid symptoms either, would you?

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by MostCynical on Thursday January 13, @06:12AM (16 children)

        by MostCynical (2589) on Thursday January 13, @06:12AM (#1212344) Journal

        if you're asymptomatic, then you wouldn't have any Long Covid symptoms either, would you?

        No:
        A fifth of asymptomatic COVID patients develop long COVID: study [medicalxpress.com]

        --
        "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Thursday January 13, @06:39AM (4 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @06:39AM (#1212348) Journal
          I'll note that this is not the omicron variant nor includes effects of vaccines. Both seem to me to be mitigating factors.
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @08:16AM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @08:16AM (#1212366)

            I believe there's no data suggesting lower Long COVID rates for Omicron. Provide a citation if you have one, please. That would be good to know.

            Vaccination (actually, probably, blood Ab titer, though possibly also cell response) does seem to drop Long COVID impact significantly - maybe decreasing odds of a person reporting each specific symptom by about 1/2!

            BUT 20% IS for a mostly-vaccinated population! At 3 at 6 months post acute, unvaccinated survivors have 30-50% rates of one or more Long COVID symptoms. Citation: https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003773 [plos.org]

            Plenty of other large-N studies backing this up. The statistics are pretty irrefutable.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday January 13, @01:10PM (1 child)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @01:10PM (#1212393) Journal
              Your post for starters which acknowledges that lack of data. And the lower severity of omicron - indicates adaptations for better fitness. My take is that means that less of the virus's biological activity goes to stuff that doesn't further virus propagation, like creating long term symptoms.

              Not that I would trust evolution very far here. The flu is far more evolved for humans and it typically has a high long symptom occurrence as well (as described in the study which attributed a 16% lower chance of long term symptoms from the flu than from covid over that time period).

              BUT 20% IS for a mostly-vaccinated population!

              Not for a study that ends in February 2021! I note also that people got in the sample by either exhibiting symptoms or testing positive for covid. That won't generate an accurate sampling of asymptomatic covid cases for that time frame.

              Plenty of other large-N studies backing this up.

              Let's see those studies then (peculiar that you're saying these studies exist when you were claiming "no data" earlier). My take is that a significantly less severe disease over a more vaccinated population will result in significantly lower long term symptoms.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @12:36AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @12:36AM (#1212553)

                Your post for starters which acknowledges that lack of data.

                Then the burden of proof is on you. When my abusive uncle shows up drunk and swears this time it'll be different, today he drank beer not whiskey, the situation is too similar to a known danger.

                My take is

                Your hot take is not worth the time it took to read. Statistics or bust. Evidence or bust.

                for a study that ends in February 2021!

                ...right. Peer review takes a while. This is our best data. We have no reason to believe Omicron leads to less Long COVID.

                Do you get it?

                We have no reason to believe Omicron leads to less Long COVID.

                We have no reason to believe Omicron leads to less Long COVID.

                The burden of proof is on YOU to demonstrate that Omicron is less dangerous somehow, if you want to shift our well-based priors.

                Let's see those studies then (peculiar that you're saying these studies exist when you were claiming "no data" earlier).

                If you don't understand the difference between "we have no data indicating it's weaker" and "we have data indicating Long COVID is common", and why the two can simultaneously be true, then I don't want to try and talk with you, because anyone who claims 2+3=4 in the integer number system, can prove anything they want, and disprove anything they want.

                If you bother to search, look at Nehme in AIM, Groff in JAMA, the USA's VA/mil numbers, etc etc etc. There's lots of strong results. They only meaningfully disagree in their definition of PASC.

            • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday January 13, @02:51PM

              by HiThere (866) on Thursday January 13, @02:51PM (#1212414) Journal

              There's no data *proving* lower Long COVID rates for Omicron. There *is* data suggesting it. E.g. it seems to flourish in the bronchial tubes rather than in the blood stream, so the immune systems is already hyped up by the time it tries for a systematic invasion.

              What's your theory for how "long covid" works? Mine is that it gets into the blood stream and starts lots of really small blood clots circulating, which occasionally clump together somewhere where they can cause a major disaster, and other times a minor disaster. This is separate from (though related to) the way it causes lung damage. And it gets avoided when the blood clots are cleaned out before they cause any real problem. Or if they only happen to clump in a place where it's easy to repair. The theory for what causes long covid is important in making predictions about what will cause it, and what won't. (IIRC warfarin had no effect on the clotting of blood by covid as it used a different mechanism.)

              Caution: I'm a programmer, not a bioresearcher. Don't take my theories too seriously in this area.

              --
              Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 2) by ChrisMaple on Thursday January 13, @07:05AM (7 children)

          by ChrisMaple (6964) on Thursday January 13, @07:05AM (#1212351)

          Follow closely. Long COVID has symptoms. Therefor Long COVID is not asymptomatic.

          If you wish to claim that people with Long COVID symptoms did not have symptoms early in the course of the disease, that's different.

          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mhajicek on Thursday January 13, @07:21AM (1 child)

            by mhajicek (51) on Thursday January 13, @07:21AM (#1212355)

            I'm choosing to believe that you are making an honest misinterpretation, rather than trolling. When anyone refers to an asymptomatic COVID infection, they mean there were no apparent symptoms during the course of the infection. The long COVID symptoms generally do not appear until after the pathogen has been eliminated from the body, perhaps several months later, and and from what I've read, are caused by lingering damage combined with autoimmune issues.

            --
            The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @10:22PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @10:22PM (#1212536)

              Relabeling CFS into "long COVID" for added fear, is a neat trick to keep the Twitter-readers scared out of their nonexistent minds.
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_fatigue_syndrome [wikipedia.org]
              However, the impending economic crash will stop the scheme anyway; real-world dangers such as hunger and cold, tend to wipe either the imagined scares, or the too-gullible-to-live hairless apes.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @07:52AM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @07:52AM (#1212362)

            Asymptomatic in this conversation always means asymptomatic acute COVID-19.

            Asymptomatic acute COVID-19 still leads to somewhere in 20-50% Long COVID (aka PASC aka etc) rates, mostly varying by which symptoms and what severities are included.

            "early in the course of the disease" is a value-empty phrase. These are two diseases. Acute COVID-19 is one. PASC is another. They have a common cause. This is similar to how poisoning might both cause short term metabolic dysfunction and long term liver failure. The acute poisoning and the long term organ damage are different diseases.

            If you don't understand that, now you do.

            If you did understand that already, you're trolling, and you can fuck right off.

            • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday January 13, @02:57PM (3 children)

              by HiThere (866) on Thursday January 13, @02:57PM (#1212416) Journal

              Even then "asymptomatic" is not actually correct. It just means the acute symptoms weren't bad enough that you sought treatment.

              You're right, though, that the acute symptoms aren't a valid predictor of the long term symptoms. Consider that nail you carelessly kicked while barefoot. Truely a minor problem. As long as your tetanus vaccine is up to date. (Well, these days it's *usually* a minor problem anyway, as there's a lot less tetanus virus living in the soil than there used to be...but not always.)

              --
              Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @09:57PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @09:57PM (#1212531)

                The C. tetani bacteria is still just as common and dangerous today without vaccination as it ever was. This means that the more minor your injury, the more dangerous it can be because you may neglect to seek care. Everyone knows about nails, but not all will suspect the dirty cut on their hand they got while gardening roses. Another fact that I thought was mindblowing when I first heard it was that the tetanus vaccines do not immunize you against the bacteria. Instead it immunizes you against the neurotoxin it releases because your body handles the bacteria on its own but cannot develop natural immunity to the neurotoxin.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @10:32PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @10:32PM (#1212537)

                  The thing with Clostridia is, they are soil bacteria. They evolved to live in the soil, not in living things, and their toxins evolved to turn an occasional animal into fertilizer for that soil.
                  You might say their feeding strategy is much nearer to carnivorous plants, than to regular pathogenic bacteria.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clostridia [wikipedia.org]

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @12:41AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @12:41AM (#1212554)

                Hi, I assume you're posting in good faith. Thank you. Please note that you're mistaken because "symptom" means the patient noticed.

                Asymptomatic does not mean "didn't seek treatment", it means "didn't notice any symptoms."

                The "long term symptoms" as you call them, are not symptoms of COVID-19, but of PASC, a different disease.

                See this https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=47132&page=1&cid=1212370#commentwrap [soylentnews.org] which is correct (thanks to that AC, who isn't me)

        • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Thursday January 13, @07:12AM (2 children)

          by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13, @07:12AM (#1212353)

          Curious, thank you.

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @08:42AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @08:42AM (#1212370)

            There are three important definitions that may be required. Long COVID is a syndrome, which is a collection of signs and symptoms (and sometimes findings) that correspond to a medical condition. Symptoms are the subjective experience of the patient. Signs are the objective indicators from the patient.

            An illustration I commonly use involves a patient. Said patient spends the consultation coughing. After chatting for awhile, they are asked if they have had a cough. They answer "no." In the notes for signs there should be a description of the cough and for symptoms there should be that they reported no cough. The fact that they were not subjectively experiencing cough despite objectively having one can provide the necessary finding to lead to the correct diagnosis by drastically eliminating the possible alternatives.

            Similarly, even though the acute COVID infection was subclinical then forgotten, subjectively asymptomatic, or completely silent does not mean that they didn't, don't, or can't have chronic sequelae or signs noticed by others or otherwise have unnoticed damage done.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @09:35AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @09:35AM (#1212377)

              Thank you, anon medical pro. Hat tip for these clear definitions and the short explanation of what is meant.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @12:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @12:20PM (#1212388)

      Hmm. The citation you give doesn't actually make the claim you are claiming. It is a study of mostly symptomatic people, with almost twice as many people who were hospitalized as were asymptomatic. The population breaks down as: 10% asymptomatic, 51% mild or moderate, 38% severe, with 16% hospitalized. If you look at the actual paper (it's open access, yay) they do not even give long-term results for people who were asymptomatic, presumably because there were not enough. There are additional aspects of the study that make it less relevant to today : it was done early in the pandemic, when testing was not widely available, and all the people had the original variant, when today we are more concerned about the milder Delta and the milder still Omicron. And it has no pre-infection data to establish a baseline.

      I found a second article on the same site that does line up with your claim ( https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-asymptomatic-covid-patients.html [medicalxpress.com] ). Maybe you meant to cite that one. But that particular study is basically Confounding Factors : The Confoundening. It's a data analysis of insurance claims (whatever happened to HIPAA?), not a real study of patients. There is no control group of uninfected people, which is a huge deal. Most of the symptoms are things that people in the demographic groups tend to get anyway. Kids with digestive issues, young women with anxiety, middle aged men with heart disease. And mental health issues are grouped in with physical symptoms - even though it's pretty well established that the pandemic itself is causing mental health problems for everyone, even people who were never infected. And some of the symptoms are things like "general discomfort" and "pain" which are so nonspecific that it's impossible to attribute them to any cause (not to say that a doctor couldn't identify them, but that it can't be determined from the data). And since most of the people in the study received treatment for COVID, even claims like "we are seeing heart disease in people who didn't show warning signs previously" can't be taken as evidence of what would be a likely result in people who had mild or no symptoms.

      This is just not good evidence. The second study was intended to be used for health administrators to make planning decisions, for which it could be useful, not to inform medical treatment or individual behavior. And the first study finds that most of the risk is in people who were hospitalized.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @03:17PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @03:17PM (#1212424)

      This is wrong. There are two ways that a pandemic ends, one is that the virus has been relegated to a small area or eliminated; the other is that people stop caring.

      If there are more asymptomatic people, then what's the point of continuing to worry? We were worried because treatments were scarce for those that were infected and medical facilities were swamped. A flood of asymptomatic cases is exactly what we want. It may not confer much protection against other strains, but it should somewhat reduce the severity at least. This is a bit like the flu where you don't get immune to the flu strains in circulation later, but generally, having had it a few times the body is more effective at fighting it.

      One of the reasons why there is an uptick in asymptomatic cases is that it's not attacking the lungs the way that other varients were, so less coughing and obvious signs. The variants have been coming quickly enough that there's no telling what the truth will look like with further research. Long covid could easily turn out to a byproduct of isolation and other factors co-occuring.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:51PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @05:51PM (#1212450)

        This is a bit like the flu where you don't get immune to the flu strains in circulation later, but generally, having had it a few times the body is more effective at fighting it.

        This is what we commonly called cross-immunity, at least those of us who aren't spreading complete nonsense.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @07:56PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @07:56PM (#1212499)

          And what precisely is nonsense here? Pandemics typically end when people accept the disease as endemic or there's an effective vaccine to stop the spread and confine it to a region. None of this is particularly controversial. At least not if you stipulate true things as true.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ChrisMaple on Thursday January 13, @07:13AM (1 child)

    by ChrisMaple (6964) on Thursday January 13, @07:13AM (#1212354)

    If there are 4 actual cases for every official case, more than half of Europe has already been infected with COVID.

    • (Score: 2) by legont on Friday January 14, @12:53AM

      by legont (4179) on Friday January 14, @12:53AM (#1212558)

      I have an anecdotal evidence from the US.

      A friend of mine was in a hospital for a procedure where they run a test and found him covid positive. For symptoms, he had one evening with chills and running nose the following day a week ago. Anyway. he went home and isolated for two weeks. Nothing happened so he declared himself cured. Here is the punch line. He has wife and three children who did have similar symptoms and did not have tests. That's x4 statistics error, right?

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @09:32AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @09:32AM (#1212375)

    people keep asking, so here is a citation: "Half of COVID survivors experience lingering symptoms six months after recovery" https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/10/211013114112.htm [sciencedaily.com]

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @12:34PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @12:34PM (#1212389)

      79% of the people in that study were hospitalized. It's not even close to a representative study of overall infection outcomes.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @04:38PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @04:38PM (#1212435)

    At the risk of being slightly off-topic, can I just say this is the most level-headed, polite, adult conversation I've seen on the subject of covid in 2 years?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @08:56PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, @08:56PM (#1212519)

      It's refreshing.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @05:27AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @05:27AM (#1212614)

      I'm still convalescing from the last article about the election. The food article seemed like it would flare up, but it didn't. We all have cross-immunity from flame wars now.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by aim on Friday January 14, @08:44AM (1 child)

    by aim (6322) on Friday January 14, @08:44AM (#1212644)

    I definitely can believe it. While before Omicron, I didn't hear that much about cases around me, now I have cases left and right. Especially with Covid making the rounds in schools, the kids bring the virus home - as has my youngest son, this week.

    So now, we have him home in quarantine, his brother stays at home too (both doing home schooling), I'm in homeoffice, while the daugther still goes to school (she's old enough to be fully vaccinated, the boys weren't old enough for the vaccine until recently), and my wife still works normally (fully compliant with local rules).

    I wonder how long it'll take before someone else in the household tests positive, as it is quite impossible to maintain a perfect isolation with the kids. Thankfully, my youngest doesn't show symptoms other than a headache, and us adults being fully vaccinated + boostered, chances for serious symptoms are low. It sucks though not being able to visit with our elders.

    And now, off to another self-test...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @09:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, @09:29PM (#1212772)

      Thank you for taking it seriously.

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