The new mutants: the Covid variants worrying health officials worldwide. Researchers at a high-security Sydney, Australia lab are learning more about concerning Covid variants from the swabs of international travelers. With B117 now detected in more than 50 (5) countries, understanding the variant is urgent.
Saturday, January 23, 2021 The Guardian
In December, the UK reported a Covid-19 variant of concern, commonly referred to as the B117 variant, which appeared to be more transmissible. Since then, scientists have established that B117 is somewhere between 50% to 70% more transmissible than other variants. If more people are getting sick, there is more pressure on health systems, and in the UK health services are so overloaded a country-wide lockdown has been enforced.
While many scientists say B117 does not appear more deadly, researchers on the UK government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group found it may increase the death rate by 30% to 40%, though their sample size was small and they said more research is needed. With B117 now detected in more than 50 countries, understanding the variant is urgent.
But other variants of concern have also been identified, including in California, South Africa and Brazil.
So exactly what is a variant, and how many are there? And why are some variants of more concern than others?
An associate professor with the University of New South Wales, Stuart Turville, who works with the Kirby Institute’s immunovirology and pathogenesis program, says although many people have referred to some of these variants as new “strains” of the virus, it is most accurate to say the virus strain causing Covid-19, known as SARS-CoV-2, has thousands of variants, which can also be described as subtypes, isolates or lineages.
However, some of these variants have more changes in their genetic instructions, known as a genome, than others. Turville says the genome of Covid-19 has around 30,000 base pairs. Base pairs are the molecules on opposite strands of the virus’s genetic material, which form chemical bonds with one another. These chemical bonds act like rungs in a ladder and help hold the strands together.
“In the context of the variant identified in the UK [B117], there are about 24 changes among that 30,000, so if you look at that in the context of the whole of genome of the virus, it’s not a huge change from what it was at the beginning at 2020,” Turville says. However that is still a higher amount of changes than usual; other variants have just one or two changes, also called mutations, to the genome.
The variant identified in South Africa, referred to as B1351, also has an unusually high number of mutations, including some of those seen in B117. Again, there is no evidence to suggest that this variant increases disease severity, but it has become the dominant variant in Zambia and is therefore likely more transmissible, though investigations are ongoing.
“There have been thousands of different variants,” Turville has told Guardian Australia.
“One of the things virologists and molecular virologists say is that it’s easier to break something than to turn it into something bigger, better, and faster. There are lots of virus variants out there that have come and gone. If you take out one key element it falls apart, and it’s actually a very fragile virus.
“The key mutants we are talking about are the ones that survive the change and continue. They’re the ones that start to overgrow the variants in the past, and that’s what we are currently seeing in the UK and elsewhere.”
Another variant of concern, known as P1 or B1128, was first detected in January in travellers who arrived in Japan from Brazil. It shares some of the same mutations as B1351, and overall has more than 20 changes, deletions, mutations and insertions in its genome. A report from Brazilian researchers said it is “potentially associated with an increase in transmissibility or propensity for reinfection of individuals”.
In other words, there is some concern that it may evade the antibody response in people with existing immunity to the virus, but a lot more work needs to be done to establish this. But given the researchers said P1 seems to be associated with a rapid increase in cases in locations where previous attack rates are thought to be very high, “it is essential to rapidly investigate whether there is an increased rate of reinfection in previously exposed individuals”.
Then, on 17 January, the California Department of Public Health in the US revealed a variant known as L452R is increasingly being identified by genomic sequencing in multiple counties across the state. However, the department said in a statement: “It’s too soon to know if this variant will spread more rapidly than others”.
“The fact that this variant was identified in several large outbreaks in our county is a red flag and must be investigated further,” said Santa Clara County health officer, Dr Sara Cody.
Australia’s health officials are concerned the variants currently wreaking havoc in the UK, South Africa and Brazil may leak out of hotel quarantine, where returned travellers are required to isolate for 14 days and undergo testing.
On Friday, the deputy chief medical officer, Michael Kidd, said if someone tested positive for the variants they would have to undergo a further 14 days of isolation before being released, up from the 10 days for people diagnosed with less concerning variants.
There are a couple of theories as to why some variants managed to take hold while others died out, Turville said.
“In terms of the variants identified in Brazil and the UK and how they have turned up, there is evidence that people infected with the virus for longer accumulate more changes in the virus.”
People who are immunocompromised, such as those who have cancer, are infected for longer as their bodies can’t fight off the virus as quickly. The theory is this gives the virus an environment to linger and develop mutations, before then being transmitted to someone else.
But Turville said that in countries where Covid-19 is out of control, the sheer number of people infected makes it more likely that there will be a rare event that leads to a “burst in changes in the virus you wouldn’t otherwise see”.
“It may boil down to the fact that in really hard-hit areas, there is more opportunity for a rare virological event,” he said. Turville and other researchers are hoping to learn more about these variants in work they are doing in the Kirby Institute’s containment lab, a high-security laboratory that receives swabs of the virus from international travellers in Australia’s hotel quarantine system.
Turville then uses these swabs to grow the virus. Each time someone enters the lab, they dress in multiple layers of clothing covered by full personal protective equipment including respirator masks, gumboots and overalls over the top. Turville walks through a series of negative pressure chambers before entering the containment lab, which he can only work in for short periods of time to avoid overheating.
“We get swabs coming in from quarantine of all the new virus flavours that are seen there, then we grow them up, and we need to see how they’re behaving in the lab. That helps us learn whether someone who had an antibody response after being infected by a different variant in March will display a similar response to one of the newer variants.”
Turville said the good news was that although some of the new variants may take the edge off an antibody response or a vaccine response, none to date could completely evade the immune response.
“To date, we have yet to see a single virus mutant with complete immune evasion that would make a vaccine useless,” he said
Seven (7) References to ‘BE WATCHING or WATCHFUL.’
Matthew 24:42; Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Matthew 25:13; Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Mark 13:35; Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning.
Luke 21:36; Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man
Luke 12:37-39; Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
1 Thessalonians 5:2-4; For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (Be Watching).
John 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
John 14:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
Luke 21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
Mark 13:29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
‘Increasing Like Labor Pains.’ ‘Fearful Sights.’ ‘Perilous Times.’ ‘Men’s hearts failing with fear.’ Great Convergence of Signs.’ REDEMPTION IMMINENT.
In His Service,
Night Watchman Ministries
Make Your Decision for Christ NOW!!!!!!! Time is Up!!!!!!!
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 12:19. Dearly 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