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posted by janrinok on Thursday January 13 2022, @04:32AM   Printer-friendly
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: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @05:18AM (27 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @05:18AM (#1212333)

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

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by tekk on Thursday January 13 2022, @05:22AM (13 children)

    by tekk (5704) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @05:44AM (12 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @08:55AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @03:10PM

          by Freeman (732) on Thursday January 13 2022, @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.

          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @05:19PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @05:19PM (#1212443)

          Oh look everyone a homophobic moron!

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday January 13 2022, @06:43PM (1 child)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13 2022, @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.

          --
          I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @05:53AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @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 2022, @10:50AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @02:58PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @06:18PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @06:46PM (1 child)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 13 2022, @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!

          --
          I get constant rejection even though the compiler is supposed to accept constants.
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @07:16PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @05:01AM

        by tekk (5704) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 14 2022, @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 2022, @05:24AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @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 2022, @05:42AM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @06:57AM (6 children)

      by ChrisMaple (6964) on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @07:11AM

        by mhajicek (51) on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @07:44AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @03:08PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @05:16PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @12:23AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @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 2022, @01:23AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @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 2022, @05:01PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @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 2022, @12:19AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @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 2022, @01:41AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14 2022, @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 2022, @12:24AM

      by legont (4179) on Friday January 14 2022, @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 2022, @06:17PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13 2022, @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!