Every month ‘stealthy’ new covid version can infect you again

Health experts around the world are sounding the alarm as they begin to report omicron BA.5, The coronavirus The strain that is currently overtaking other forms of infection and has become the dominant strain in We And abroad, contracting the virus has the potential to re-infect people within weeks.

Andrew Robertson, Chief Health Officer of Western Australia News.com.au Although it was previously believed that most people would maintain a certain level of protection against reinfection if they were vaccinated or maintained some level of natural immunity due to recent contractions of the virus, this has not been the case until recently. . stress.

“What we are seeing is an increasing number of people who have been infected with BA.2 and then become infected after four weeks,” the doctor explained during an interview with an Australian news outlet. “So maybe six to eight weeks they’re developing a second infection, and it’s almost certainly BA.4 or BA.5.”

The ability of strains of BA.4 and BA.5 to re-infect individuals who had strong immunity in previous waves of Covid-19 has led some experts to call this latest strain the most transmissible yet .

“They’re taking, so clearly they’re more contagious than the older variants of Omicron,” David Montefiori, a professor at the Human Vaccine Institute at Duke University Medical Center, said in an interview. NBC News,

Federal Estimates released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that BA.5 has now taken over as the dominant strain in the US, accounting for about 88.8 percent of cases.

And although the average number of new cases reported daily in the US is currently around 112,000, experts fear a combination of home testers not reporting positive cases, the closure of government-funded testing centers and states Withholding its daily data updates it paints a less accurate picture of how much of this new strain is really penetrating the nation.

A recently published study science confirmed the troubling reality that many people already experience with multiple back-to-back reinfections: these two new subvariants evade previous infections and protection from vaccines.

Danny Altman, professor of immunology, co-authored science The paper with Rosemary Boynton, a professor of immunology and respiratory medicine, discussed the findings of their research in a recent op-ed.

He said that, contrary to a popular belief that vaccines and past infections would provide “a wall of immunity”, nations are instead experiencing “wave after wave of new cases”.

In the study, Professor Altman describes how he followed individuals who had been triple waxed and who had previously experienced breakthrough infections during omicron waves.

“This allows us to test whether Omicron, as some might have expected, was a gentle natural booster of our COVID immunity,” they wrote. Guardian, “It turns out that’s not the case.”

“Most people – even when triple-vaccinated – had a 20-fold lower neutralizing antibody response against Omicron compared to the initial ‘Wuhan’ strain,” Professor Altmann said, noting that, Formally, “Omicron infection was a poor booster of immunity to advance Omicron infection”.

“It’s the kind of stealth virus that tends to come under the radar,” he insisted, adding that “even if we’re omicrons, we’re not well protected from further infections”.

Mr Altman’s research confirms other recent studies that warn of the new subtypes’ ability to evade protection from previous immune-building precautions; Namely vaccination and natural immunity.

research published in Nature Columbia University shows that BA.4 and BA.5 are four times more resistant to antibodies from vaccines than BA.2, a subvariant that became the dominant strain in the US in April, replacing the original strain that had wintered. had inspired a wave of rage across the country.

Although experts believe these existing strains will likely lead to new waves, they note that the vaccines will confer partial immunity and can still potentially protect against more serious infections.

“Our data suggest that these new omicron subvariants will likely be able to increase the incidence of infection in populations with high levels of vaccine immunity as well as natural BA1 and BA2 immunity,” explained Dr Dan Barouch. CNN, “It is likely that vaccine immunity will still provide adequate protection against severe disease with BA4 and BA5.”

Dr Barouch was one of the co-authors on a separate paper, which was published with The New England Journal of Medicinewhich found that vaccines and infections against BA.4 and BA.5 resulted in a threefold reduction in neutralizing antibodies, which was significantly lower than those against BA.1 and BA2.

Because of this, many vaccines that have been received in the past 18 months will need not only a boost, but an update as well.

federal drug administration has recommended that the manufacturer of the COVID vaccine, viz. pfizer And Moderna, start modifying what they currently have on offer so that their booster shots can more accurately target the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, and hopefully these shots will be available mid-fall. can be.

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