Pestilence Update

Coronavirus mutates into 40 strains. How this changes the pandemic outlook: Experts

Foreshadow Now, ‘Season of the End Times’:

Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a woman experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period

… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).
… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)
… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)
… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)

Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor.

Coronavirus mutates into 40 strains. How this changes the pandemic outlook: Experts

Muhammed Nafie, Al Arabiya English Friday 27 March 2020

Recent scientific tests are starting to reveal more about the coronavirus, known technically as COVID-19, including one recent discovery: that the virus has at least 40 mutations.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the world, scientists are scrambling to discover as much information as they can that could help to slow the spread of the deadly pathogen. Now, with evidence that the coronavirus mutates, they are hoping that they can learn more through studying the virus’ genes – perhaps eventually helping to find a future treatment.

But what does it mean for a virus to mutate, and why does it matter? Here is everything you need to know.

Mutations in coronavirus: Evidence

Evidence that the coronavirus mutates was brought to attention back in late February by Christian Drosten, the head of the Institute of Virology at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin.

Drosten studied a German patient who had caught coronavirus in Italy, and a separate German patient who had caught coronavirus a month before in Munich. Both cases had three genetic mutations which had not been seen in any samples from Wuhan, China, where the pathogen first broke out.

Based on this evidence, Drosten suggested that it was likely that a Chinese variant carrying the three mutations had taken independent routes to Germany and Italy.

Since then, further tests have revealed more evidence that the coronavirus mutates.

In early March, Chinese researchers identified 149 mutations in the 103 sequenced genomes of the coronavirus.

In the same week, Scientists from Brazil and the United Kingdom said the samples collected from the first patient in Latin America was slightly different from the strain from Wuhan by three mutations.

More recently, Iceland’s high-volume testing revealed there are at least 40 mutations of the virus in the country of 340,000 people alone.

Read more: Coronavirus now has two strains – and you can get both

Is it normal for viruses to mutate?

Yes. According to scientists, it is normal for viruses to mutate.

“Viruses mutate naturally as part of their life cycle,” said Ewan Harrison, scientific project manager for the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium, a new project that tracks the virus in the United Kingdom.

Dr Derek Gatherer, an infectious disease specialist at Lancaster University, said he was not surprised with the findings in Iceland.

“This is much as we would expect. All viruses accumulate mutations, but few of them are of much medical consequence,” he said.

Like all viruses, coronavirus evolves over time through random mutations, added Andrew Rambaut, a molecular evolutionary biologist at the University of Edinburgh.

“Over the length of its 30,000-base-pair genome, SARS-CoV-2 accumulates an average of about one to two mutations per month,” he said.

What can scientists learn from the mutations?

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, the virus is changing its genetic makeup. According to scientists, genomic sequencing of the samples will help understand the spread of the virus and guide treatments.

“Genomic sequencing will help us understand COVID-19 and its spread. It can also help guide treatments in the future and see the impact of interventions,” Patrick Vallance, British government’s chief scientific adviser, said in the statement on Monday.

UK scientists are using gene sequencing to analyze the strains causing thousands of coronavirus infections across the country. Working in teams across Britain, scientists will map out and analyze the full genetic codes of the COVID-19 samples, Reuters reported.

Researchers at DeCode genetics, who conducted the testing which revealed 40 mutations in Iceland, said on Monday that the variants discovered could act as the fingerprints of the virus to trace its origin. Seven of the infected people were traced to an undisclosed football match in England, the researchers said.

Kári Stefánsson, director of DeCode Genetics, said, “We can see how viruses mutate. We have found 40 island-specific virus mutations … We found someone who had a mixture of viruses.”

Stefánsson added, “Some came from Austria. There is another type from people who were infected in Italy. And there is a third type of virus found in people infected in England. Seven people had attended a football match in England.”

“It is interesting with the 40 specific variants that fall into three clusters that can be traced back to specific sources of infection,” Allan Randrup Thomsen, a virologist with the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Copenhagen, said. “Coronavirus is known as a virus that can mutate reasonably violently. We have seen reports of variants from China already. That way, it fits well with what one expects.”

Rambaut also pointed to the speed of the coronavirus as revealing information about its nature.

“It’s about two to four times slower than the flu,” he said. “Using these little changes, researchers can draw up phylogenetic trees, much like family trees. They can also make connections between different cases of COVID-19 and gauge whether there might be undetected spread of the virus.”

How do mutations affect immunity?

Could coronavirus mutate into a different strain so that it would be able to overcome the built-up immune defenses? Not necessarily, according to experts.

“I would predict that SARSCoV2 will behave similarly to existing seasonal coronaviruses in its ability to mutate to avoid vaccines and immunity,” says Trevor Bedford of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who analyzes the stream of viral genomes and discusses them in Twitter threads.

He says almost all the mutations of coronavirus will have little to no effect on the function of the virus.

“My prediction is that we should see occasional mutations to the spike protein of SARSCoV2 that allow the virus to partially escape from vaccines or existing “herd” immunity, but that this process will most likely take years rather than months,” he tweeted.

Since its outbreak, the coronavirus is mutating in the way that all viruses do, but it hasn’t changed in any important way.

“The virus has been remarkably stable given how much transmission we’ve seen,” says Lisa Gralinski of the University of North Carolina. “That makes sense, because there’s no evolutionary pressure on the virus to transmit better.”

How do mutations impact the development of a vaccine?

Coronavirus mutations have not impacted the development of a vaccine against the disease, says Zhou Qi, deputy secretary general of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“We have received a lot of information about the mutations of the virus. However, the mutations seen in the virus so far have not affected vaccine development and research,” Qi said. “We are actively monitoring the degree to which the virus mutates, we are conducting research.”

According to Bedford it will take a few years for coronavirus to mutate enough to significantly hinder a vaccine.

(Night Watchman Note: What will happen when millions of Christians suddenly ‘disappear’ in the ‘twinkling of an eye”??? Those who may be first-responders, doctors, nurses, support staff, policemen, firefighters, homeless volunteers, those in the red cross or other emergency aid and relief organizations, in the national guard or military, pharmacies, grocery stores, etc. You get the picture.)

Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:

The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)

A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.

. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.

. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).

. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).

. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).

. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).

. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).

. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).

. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).

. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).

. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).

True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:

 Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Romans 12:19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Categories: Pestilence Update

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