Scientists are worried that the severe coronavirus wave in China may lead to a new mutant. To the question of whether the Covid-19 wave in China will cause a new coronavirus mutant in the world, scientists said that they do not know the answer; however, they stated that they were concerned about a possible variant.
Nearly 250 million people in China may have contracted Covid-20 in the first 19 days of December, according to the estimation of the country's top health officials, Bloomberg News and Financial Times reported on Friday.
On the other hand, the National Health Commission announced on December 20 that new standards were introduced for keeping Covid-19 statistics. Accordingly, it was reported that from now on, only deaths caused by pneumonia and respiratory failure due to the virus will be recorded, and those who lost their lives from complications such as chronic diseases or heart attacks, although the Covid-19 test is positive, will not be included in the statistics.
“CHINA'S POPULATION IS LARGE, BUT HAS A LIMITED Immunity”
According to the news in the AP, it could be the currently circulating Omicron variant, a combination of strains or a completely different variant.
An infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Stuart Campbell Ray said, “China has a very large population but limited immunity. "This looks like a setting where we can see a new variant emerge."
Each new infection offers a chance for the coronavirus to mutate, and the virus is spreading rapidly in China. The country of 1,4 billion has largely abandoned the "zero Covid" policy. While overall reported vaccination rates are high, reminder dose levels are lower, especially among older individuals. Native vaccines, on the other hand, proved less effective against mRNA-based vaccines against serious infections. Many people were vaccinated more than a year ago; This means that immunity is reduced and it becomes fertile ground for the virus to change.
MAJOR WAVES OF INFECTION BRING NEW VARIANTS
Dr. "When we see big waves of infections, it's usually followed by new variants," Ray said.
About three years ago, the original version of the coronavirus spread from China to the rest of the world and was eventually replaced by the Delta variant, which continues to plague the world today, followed by Omicron and its descendants.
Working on viruses at Ohio State University, Dr. Shan-Lu Liu said several existing variants of Omicron have been identified in China, including BF.7, which is extremely adept at evading immunity and is believed to be driving the current surge.
DOES IT CAUSE A MORE SERIOUS DISEASE?
Experts said that a partially immune population like China puts special pressure on the virus to change. Ray likened the virus to a boxer who "learns to dodge skills and adapts to overcome them."
A big unknown is whether a new variant will cause more serious disease. Experts say there is no biological reason for the virus to become milder over time.
VIRUS VIOLENCE HAS NOT CHANGED
“Most of the relaxation we have experienced in many parts of the world in the last six to 12 months is due to accumulated immunity, not because the virus has changed in severity, but through vaccination or infection,” Ray said.
Recently, the World Health Organization expressed concern about reports of serious illness in China. Around the cities of Baoding and Langfang outside Beijing, hospitals were depleted of intensive care beds and healthcare workers as serious cases rose.
Xu Wenbo of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that China plans to monitor virus centers around three city hospitals in each province, where samples will be taken from outpatients who are very sick and from all patients who die each week.
"We don't know what's going on, but frankly, the pandemic isn't over," said virologist Jeremy Luban of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Günceleme: 27/12/2022 10:54