As Predicted Thailand Likely To Be A Hub Of Super SARS-CoV-2 Hybrid Variants! 7 Cases Of Co-Infections With Alpha And Delta Variants In Found Bangkok!
Thailand will most likely eventually have the honor of being the country where a super SARS-CoV-2 hybrid variant
is most likely to emerge (That is if it has not already made its debut!)
Health authorities today reported that 7 workers in a construction camp in Bangkok were found to have been co-infected with both the alpha and delta variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. https://www.thairath.co.th/news/local/2138525?utm_source=PANORAMA_HOME
Health authorities are investigating certain unidentified genomes found samples to assess whether any actual hybrids have emerged.
It should be noted that it is very easy for various strains or variants of coronaviruses to recombinant with each other in the living body of a host.
To date, the Alpha, Beta and Delta strains have been confirmed as circulating in the country with suspicions that the Gamma and also Lambda variants could already be around.
Without any incoming international travel shutdowns, a porous border and an over emphasis on tourism, the country will most probably earn the title of Hub of VOCs (or variants of concern) in just weeks.
But what is most frightening is the high possibility of hybrid VOC variants emerging.
The Alpha variant contains the N510Y mutation which a recent Canadian study says is likely to cause increased disease severity and mortality in those infected. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.07.05.21260050v1.full.pdf
More concerning the Delta variant contains among the 20 mutations identified in the variant, two crucial mutations for making it transmit more effectively than older strains. Early Indian reports described it as a "double mutant."
First is the L452R mutation, also found in the Epsilon variant which is classified by the WHO as a variant of interest. The mutation makes the spike protein more infectious by increasing its ability to bind to human cells.
Also the Delta variant dominates vaccine-breakthrough infections with higher viral loads in the respiratory tract, in comparison to non-Delta variants.
Furthermore, it results in greater transmission among fully vaccinated healthcare workers. https://virological.org/t/viral-infection-and-transmission-in-a-large-well-traced-outbreak-caused-by-the-delta-sars-cov-2-variant/724
Scientist from the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention have found that the variant grows more rapidly inside people's respiratory tracts and at much higher levels.
The research found that infection with the delta variant of the coronavirus resulted in more than 1,000 times the number of virus copies in the respiratory tract than infection with the original strain,
Importantly, after catching the delta variant, the person i
s likely to become infectious sooner. As compared with the original coronavirus variant, the delta variant took about four days to reach detectable levels inside a person, whereas the latter took six days.
Also there are reports that the delta strain may cause different symptoms than other variants. As one example, a U.K. study that reports symptoms tracked through an app showed changes in the top-ranking symptoms since delta began to dominate.
Importantly cold-like symptoms, such as headaches, runny noses, and sore throats, now top the list in the ongoing study, while more traditional COVID-19 symptoms - loss of smell, shortness of breath, fever, and persistent cough - have fallen. A similar trend is being observed in the U.S. as well, especially in places with high delta case.
Currently in Thailand, more than 50 percent of the cases of infections are found to be caused by the Delta variant.
Already certain international researchers are warning that the Delta variant is by itself spawning off numerous second, third and fourth generation variants with more mutations and deletions on it as it evolves to become more transmissible and potent. However there has not been much genomic surveillance on this with the exception of a Delta Plus variant identified in India. https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/good-news-delta-variant-is-further-mutating-to-give-us-delta-plus-variant-we-are-on-target-for-a-predicted-catastrophic-covid-19-surge-starting-in-la
Thailand with its low vaccination rates and a high population of HIV patients and also many locals with a variety of sexually transmitted diseases including virus based ones like Herpes, HPV and even Hepatitis could be the perfect breeding grounds for more of such Delta variants to emerge.
However the news of co-infections is also more alarming .If both the Alpha and Delta variants were to recombinant in a potent way, the emerging variant could have a disastrous effect on the country and could change the global course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In coming weeks we will know more as to where Thailand is heading to. Our predictions which we hope are wrong are indicating that things could end up being far more worse than India or Brazil unless locals start taking things more seriously and start isolating on their own and abide by social distancing and initiate lockdown protocols by themselves without waiting for the government to impose even more stricter measures. The country has no room for political bickering at this stage rather a concerted and unified approach is absolutely critical and the efforts of every single individual is warranted. Relevant authorities also have to get their acts together fast and stop focusing on greed or how to profit from the crisis.
Thailand is at a very critical juncture!