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Omicron, the science only, please

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

    Too soon to know, but encouraging. South Africa is being hit hard, but isn't showing a spike in deaths.

    DEC. 12, 2021 / 4:03 PM
    South Africa hits daily record 37,875 COVID-19 cases mostly by Omicron
    .
    "Having personally seen many of our patients across our Gauteng hospitals, their symptoms are far milder than anything we experienced during the first three waves," Netcare's Richard Friedland told the Daily Maverick on Wednesday.

    "Approximately 90% of COVID-19 patients currently in our hospitals require no form of oxygen therapy and are considered incidental cases. If this trend continues, it would appear that, with a few exceptions of those requiring tertiary care, the fourth wave can be adequately treated at a primary care level."

    In the past week, South Africa's cases increased 76% to 109,053, which is the 10th most in the world, though deaths dropped 7% to 976.
    Thanks for that.

    That actually shows a *drop* in deaths.

    Unfortunately, my eyes glazed over a bit going through the whole article. I couldn't find a direct answer to the topic of omicron deaths. It talks about omicron cases and total Covid deaths, but AFAICT does not separate out omicron deaths.
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

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    Nationalist Christian.

    "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

    Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

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    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
      Illnesses tied to the Omicron variant may be milder, a preliminary study suggests.

      So there's good news.
      .
      JOHANNESBURG — An early study of coronavirus test results in South Africa suggests that, so far, patients infected with the Omicron variant may be hospitalized less often than patients infected with earlier versions of the virus.

      The study — which was released on Tuesday and is based on only three weeks of data — also shows that vaccines are not as effective against the variant, which poses a higher risk of breakthrough infections.

      The takeaway being that vaccination will probably save your life if you're infected. There's also a really good chance you're going to get infected if it's been a long time since you completed your vaccination, so boosters are important. Looks like I got mine just in time.

      But we still need to keep the grains of salt handy.
      .
      Epidemiologists have cautioned that data from a few more weeks will be needed to draw firmer conclusions, in part because Omicron has not yet spread widely and because only a small percentage of infected people become ill enough to be hospitalized.

      The study, by a private health insurance company, offers a preliminary look at the course of the Omicron variant, but there are other possible explanations for the trends that were observed.

      For example, infections may appear to be milder overall because more people in the current wave have some protection from prior infection or immunization. Moreover, the mean age of the people in the study was 34, and young people generally tend to have mild symptoms. That may also make Omicron infections appear milder than they really are.

      "The mean age ... was 34."

      Now I haven't read the study yet, so I don't know how they accounted for the demographic, but that's not reassuring. I want to see the same results for the age demographics that are more at risk. As of Dec. 10, says here, half of the folks in the US already identified as having come down with Omicron have no foreign travel. It's already in the community spread stage. Vaccines don't do as much good during the first couple weeks. There's no time for delays.

      And then there's the not so good news.
      .
      The study also found an increased risk of reinfection with the Omicron variant, and waning immunity from previous infections. People who were infected with the Delta variant of the coronavirus had a 40 percent relative risk of contracting the Omicron variant, while those infected during the Beta-driven wave at the beginning of 2020 faced a 60 percent chance of reinfection with Omicron.

      If ya know anyone infected with Beta, they should know this, too.
      I am wondering if you do get Omicron if the immunity you get from that works on Delta and other variants, protecting you from them? If so, and it is milder, it might actually be what stops Covid.

      In other news, the FDA has approved an injectable long lasting monoclonal antibody treatment for people who are immunocompromised. Two shots will give a person protection for 6 months. Should be available in a couple of months.
      https://www.fda.gov/news-events/pres...s-pre-exposure

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Sparko View Post

        I am wondering if you do get Omicron if the immunity you get from that works on Delta and other variants, protecting you from them? If so, and it is milder, it might actually be what stops Covid.

        In other news, the FDA has approved an injectable long lasting monoclonal antibody treatment for people who are immunocompromised. Two shots will give a person protection for 6 months. Should be available in a couple of months.
        https://www.fda.gov/news-events/pres...s-pre-exposure
        That's good to hear.

        The language I'm seeing is "displacement," which is what I mean by Omicron killing off the Delta variant. Once Omicron takes over, there won't be any other variants left.

        Of course, these guys have reputations to risk, unlike me, so they hedge everything they say. I'm just a math guy. If I get my epidemiology wrong, well, I'm just a math guy. But the folks who want to hedge are saying Omicron might be beating the other variants because it's especially well adapted to superspreaders. And maybe an isolated population will have Delta but not Omicron, and maybe it'll re-emerge after Omicron has ebbed and gone away.

        But I don't have to hedge like that, so I'm not going to. Omicron is going to wipe out every other variant. Period. No other variant is going to kill anyone once Omicron has finished with them. That's the mainline calculation.

        (Until another variant comes along that just so happens to be twice as contagious and ten times as virulent.)

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

          That's good to hear.

          The language I'm seeing is "displacement," which is what I mean by Omicron killing off the Delta variant. Once Omicron takes over, there won't be any other variants left.

          Of course, these guys have reputations to risk, unlike me, so they hedge everything they say. I'm just a math guy. If I get my epidemiology wrong, well, I'm just a math guy. But the folks who want to hedge are saying Omicron might be beating the other variants because it's especially well adapted to superspreaders. And maybe an isolated population will have Delta but not Omicron, and maybe it'll re-emerge after Omicron has ebbed and gone away.

          But I don't have to hedge like that, so I'm not going to. Omicron is going to wipe out every other variant. Period. No other variant is going to kill anyone once Omicron has finished with them. That's the mainline calculation.

          (Until another variant comes along that just so happens to be twice as contagious and ten times as virulent.)
          seems like the only way it can "displace" the other variants is if the immunity you gain fro Omicron works against Delta and crew. Otherwise what is to stop someone from still catching Delta after Omicron and both co-existing? Something would need to happen to stop Delta and other variants from replicating.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by Sparko View Post

            seems like the only way it can "displace" the other variants is if the immunity you gain fro Omicron works against Delta and crew. Otherwise what is to stop someone from still catching Delta after Omicron and both co-existing? Something would need to happen to stop Delta and other variants from replicating.
            Yeah, that's pretty straight. We already know variants provide some protection against each other, even if it diminishes over time. Omicron will kill off all the other variants by starving them of hosts, according to me. It's also possible that Delta will coinfect, but so long as Omicron infects more hosts than Delta, it's going to win. That's what happened to Alpha and Beta when Delta came along, the difference being that Delta was as lethal as the previous variants. I see no reason to think Delta will be an exception.

            Comment


            • #66
              Omicron likely to accelerate death toll in Europe, says health agency
              .
              Anecdotal evidence from South Africa has suggested that Omicron may cause milder disease. But the ECDC’s assessment warns that “even if the severity of disease caused by the Omicron variant of concern is equal or lower than the severity of the Delta variant of concern, the increased transmissibility and resulting exponential growth of cases will rapidly outweigh any benefits of a potentially reduced severity”.

              The agency’s assessment adds: “Therefore, the Omicron variant of concern is considered likely to cause additional hospitalisations and fatalities, further to those already expected from previous forecasts that consider only the Delta variant of concern.”

              Kinda depends on "how much lower" assuming it's lower which seems like a relatively safe bet at this point. Still no spiking in South Africa though it is a relatively young demographic and the most at risk could well have already died.

              I'm cautiously optimistic, but I also saw a report about an increase in the excess death counts in South Africa yesterday. I'll find it again when I get a chance but it's kinda hairy right now with the emails flying in finals week.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
                Omicron likely to accelerate death toll in Europe, says health agency
                .
                Anecdotal evidence from South Africa has suggested that Omicron may cause milder disease. But the ECDC’s assessment warns that “even if the severity of disease caused by the Omicron variant of concern is equal or lower than the severity of the Delta variant of concern, the increased transmissibility and resulting exponential growth of cases will rapidly outweigh any benefits of a potentially reduced severity”.

                The agency’s assessment adds: “Therefore, the Omicron variant of concern is considered likely to cause additional hospitalisations and fatalities, further to those already expected from previous forecasts that consider only the Delta variant of concern.”

                Kinda depends on "how much lower" assuming it's lower which seems like a relatively safe bet at this point. Still no spiking in South Africa though it is a relatively young demographic and the most at risk could well have already died.

                I'm cautiously optimistic, but I also saw a report about an increase in the excess death counts in South Africa yesterday. I'll find it again when I get a chance but it's kinda hairy right now with the emails flying in finals week.
                AFAICT from Google, there are currently *zero* confirmed deaths "from" omicron. I find *one* confirmed death "with" omicron, in the UK, with no data released about the victim's age, sex, BMI, underlying health status, vax status, reason for hospitalization, or direct cause of death.
                Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                Beige Federalist.

                Nationalist Christian.

                "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                Proud member of the LGBFJB community.

                Would-be Grand Vizier of the Padishah Maxi-Super-Ultra-Hyper-Mega-MAGA King Trumpius Rex.

                Justice for Ashli Babbitt!

                Justice for Matthew Perna!

                Arrest Ray Epps and his Fed bosses!

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

                  AFAICT from Google, there are currently *zero* confirmed deaths "from" omicron. I find *one* confirmed death "with" omicron, in the UK, with no data released about the victim's age, sex, BMI, underlying health status, vax status, reason for hospitalization, or direct cause of death.
                  Skepticism of bad news is dangerous in a way that skepticism of good news can never be.

                  Boris Johnson reports U.K.’s first known death of patient with omicron variant
                  .
                  The prime minister’s office did not immediately offer any details about the person who died — age, vaccination status or any underlying conditions.

                  Data out of South Africa support a degree of cautious optimism that the Omicron may prove less dangerous to the individual. Data out of Europe and the UK suggest this may not be enough.
                  .
                  Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Monday that hospitalizations and deaths are forecast to “dramatically increase” in the coming weeks.

                  Speaking to lawmakers in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon, he said omicron would become the dominant variant in London in the next 48 hours. It already represented 20 percent of all new cases in England, with cases doubling every two to three days.

                  “No variant of covid-19 has spread this fast,” Javid said in Parliament.

                  Earlier, he called the growth rate “phenomenal.”

                  On Saturday, Britain reported 633 new confirmed cases of the omicron variant; on Sunday, 1,239; and on Monday, 1,576 — bringing the total count to 4,713 confirmed cases in the country, going back to Nov. 20.

                  So that's sobering.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    The present pattern of the pandemic is that the Omicron will replace the Delta variant as the Delta variant replace earlier variants of Covid-19. Also as with previous flu seasons and pandemics the Omicron variant of Covid-19 are becoming less deadly, but still causing hospitalizations and deaths. The Omicron variant also spreads more easily than previous variants, which would be an evolved survival strategy. It remains the vaccinated do get the new varient in small numbers, but have less severe reactions than the unvaccinated.
                    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                    go with the flow the river knows . . .

                    Frank

                    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      HKUMed finds Omicron SARS-CoV-2 can infect faster and better than Delta in human bronchus but with less severe infection in lung

                      15 December 2021
                      .
                      A study led by researchers from the LKS Faculty of Medicine at The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed) provides the first information on how the novel Variant of Concern (VOC) of SARS-CoV-2, the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 infect human respiratory tract. The researchers found that Omicron SARS-CoV-2 infects and multiplies 70 times faster than the Delta variant and original SARS-CoV-2 in human bronchus, which may explain why Omicron may transmit faster between humans than previous variants. Their study also showed that the Omicron infection in the lung is significantly lower than the original SARS-CoV-2, which may be an indicator of lower disease severity. This research is currently under peer review for publication.

                      Translates to more transmissible and less dangerous.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

                        Skepticism of bad news is dangerous in a way that skepticism of good news can never be.
                        I am indeed skeptical of the death projections, given the paucity of confirmed dire or deadly cases so far. But my post was equally about my frustration at the lack of transparency about the details of the lone alleged omicron death.

                        Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                        Beige Federalist.

                        Nationalist Christian.

                        "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                        Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                        Proud member of the LGBFJB community.

                        Would-be Grand Vizier of the Padishah Maxi-Super-Ultra-Hyper-Mega-MAGA King Trumpius Rex.

                        Justice for Ashli Babbitt!

                        Justice for Matthew Perna!

                        Arrest Ray Epps and his Fed bosses!

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          The curves in the US are still dominated by Delta.

                          The current (Delta) wave began at the beginning of November with 7-day case averages in the mid-70 thousands reversing the decline from the last wave. Average daily (Delta) death counts bottomed out two to three weeks later at just under one thousand. Today, six weeks later in mid-December, (Delta) case averages are coming up on 130 thousand with average deaths swinging back to 1200 per day. This is exactly what we’ve seen with all previous waves, and what I’d expect from another Delta wave.

                          The Omicron signal I’m hoping for is a simultaneous increase in cases and decrease in deaths. That can’t happen until two to three weeks after Omicron overtakes Delta. The signal I’m more concerned about would be death counts tracking what we’d expect from a Delta wave or worse, accompanied by a vastly increased number of cases. That’s the scenario public health officials in Europe and the UK are warning about.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Report 49 - Growth, population distribution and immune escape of Omicron in England
                            .
                            The distribution of Omicron by age, region and ethnicity currently differs markedly from Delta, with 18–29-year-olds, residents in the London region, and those of African ethnicity having significantly higher rates of infection with Omicron relative to Delta.

                            Hospitalisation and asymptomatic infection indicators were not significantly associated with Omicron infection, suggesting at most limited changes in severity compared with Delta.

                            Omicron is targeting a younger demographic in the UK. As I mentioned earlier, that’s cause for concern that the decreased mortality we’re hearing about isn’t because Omicron is less virulent, but because it’s targeting healthier individuals.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              CDC Warns Omicron Wave Is Coming: When It Could Peak in U.S.
                              .
                              The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Dec. 14 that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading so rapidly that it may trigger a massive wave of infections that peaks in January.

                              Omicron currently accounts for 3 percent of coronavirus infections in the United States, which is up from 0.4 percent last week. The other 97 percent are caused by the Delta variant.

                              Thirty-three states have reported Omicron cases so far, and cases in the United States have grown by 50 percent in the past 2 weeks.

                              Omicron has taken off in New York and New Jersey, where it now accounts for approximately 13 percent of cases.

                              In New York City, for example, the test positivity rate has been doubling every 3 days.

                              “Cases of people infected with the Omicron variant are doubling every 2 to 4 days. This means that Omicron might become the dominant variant in the United States within the next week or two,” Dr. Scott Roberts, a Yale Medicine infectious disease specialist and assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine, told Healthline.

                              From the perspective of someone who was tracking bi-weekly increases on the first wave to share with students, those are jaw-dropping increases. The daily acceleration of Omicron is comparable to the biweekly acceleration on the original strain. Delta took months to become dominant.

                              It takes a couple weeks for a booster to become useful. Now is the time. Not tomorrow, and certainly not next week.

                              Please.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                UK gov't now reporting 14 omicron deaths (PDF). Pretty detailed presentation, but ATM my brain is too foggy to ascertain whether it gives enough info to tell whether the deaths are "with" or "from" omicron. Cross-posted from the "Covid vaccine effectiveness" thread.
                                Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                                Beige Federalist.

                                Nationalist Christian.

                                "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                                Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                                Proud member of the LGBFJB community.

                                Would-be Grand Vizier of the Padishah Maxi-Super-Ultra-Hyper-Mega-MAGA King Trumpius Rex.

                                Justice for Ashli Babbitt!

                                Justice for Matthew Perna!

                                Arrest Ray Epps and his Fed bosses!

                                Comment

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