New SARS-CoV-2 Variants BR.2 And XBF Expected To Become Dominant Midway In Winter Surge. Current Surges Not Severe, Rather Will Kill Slowly!
: Scientist are predicting that the new SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant called BR.2.1 and also a new recombinant variant XBF is expected to be become dominant in circulation sometime midway in the winter surge and will join other newly emerging variants in creating non-stop COVID-19 surges globally.
The BR.2.1 variant is part of the BA.2.75 lineage and spots 3 extra spike mutations ie L452R, F486I, R346T (sometimes reversed) and ORF8:S67F mutation.
Early data shows that it is more transmissible and also immune evasive that the BQ.1.1 variant that is currently becoming dominant in North America, Europe and parts of Asia.
The variant seems to be growing in circulation in parts of Australia including New South Wales and seems to be having a higher growth advantage compared to the other variants in the current menagerie that is circulating around.
Early claims and COVID-19 News
coverages that have yet to confirmed by proper studies reports a slight increase in disease severity and an increase in hospitalizations but it is still too early to speculate as to whether or not this new variant contributes to increased disease severity.
Another new variant that is also worrying researchers is a new recombinant variant called XBF that originate form BA.5.2 and CJ.1 and spots the mutations ORF1a: K120N along with spike mutation S:F486P and also the E:T11A mutation.
Early data suggest that the mutation on the E protein could also be a contributing factor to enhanced pathogenesis but again studies are needed to verify this.
Other variants expected to play a role midway in the winter surge includes BW.1,
and also new variants like DJ.1 and DJ.1.1, BE.9, BF.26, CM2.1, BQ.1.1.2, BZ.1 and XAS.
The current surge is being dominated by the BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 and also XBB in certain regions alongside more than 200 odd variants and sub-lineages that many are referring to as the variant soup! (Rumours are that Campbells is actually planning to come up with an actual canned soup named as such!)
The good news is that except for those in the vulnerable groups ie the aged, the young, the obese, the immunocompromised, those with existing comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension, heart and kidney issues and those with certain genetic makeups, the majority of the global population will not experience disease severity nor increased mortality and will only experience mild to moderate symptoms.
Even more great news is that the new variants are so well adapted to disarm the human host immune system and evade all vaccine or natural infection induced immunity that breakthrough infections and reinfections are the new norm along with viral persistence.
Indirectly this also means that the new SARS-CoV-2 can wreak the various cellular pathways, genes, cells, tissues and various organs more effectively without being disturbed!
Hence many who are infected will not die immediately upon infection but rather slowly and we can expect excess death rates to go up rapidly but quietly.
Already many newly published recently have shown the kind of damage the virus can do to the brains, heart, kidneys, liver,
As we have mentioned many times, we at Thailand Medical News strongly believes in the hypothesis that many exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus irrespective of whether they were asymptomatic, mildly or moderately symptomatic, will only have about 5 to 8 years left in their current lifespan and that would be shortened by constant reinfections.
The next few months will be very interesting times as we also expect more virulent and lethal variants to emerge taking into consideration the kinetics of the COVID-19 pandemic and the relaxation of measures etc.
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