SARS-CoV-2 Variants: Ongoing Onslaught Of COVID-19 Infections Soon To Be Lead By New Cluster Of Sub-Lineages Including CH.1.1, CH.3, XAY.2, XBC, XBF, BE.10!
: The current global continuous onslaught of COVID -19 infections that is led by various BA.5 sub-lineages, the BQ.1, BQ.1.1BQ.1.1.4, BQ.1.12, BQ.1.22 subvariants, the XBB recombined variant including some of its newer spawns such as XBB.1, XBB.1.5, the BN.1.4, BN.1.3.1 subvariants and BR.2 variants among the more than 500 new SARS-CoV-2 Variants
and sub-lineages alongside recombinant variants that have emerged over the last 6 months is currently contributing to increased hospitalizations and excess deaths (COVID-19 deaths are strangely going down though!) across many countries despite various health authorities and governments saying these new variants are mild and that we should learn to live with it!
Do take note that most COVID-19 statistical data and excess deaths data are not reliable as many governments are deliberately trying to conceal actual data and impact of the ongoing crisis and in reality, the actual figures could be much higher.
Most of the current SARS-CoV-2 Variants
and sub-lineages in circulation are more immune evasive and trans
missible and are causing breakthrough infections and constant reinfections in many.
Constant reinfections can in fact increase disease severity and also increase the risk of mortality.
In fact, new studies are also indicating that the new bivalent boosters being promoted extensively by health authorities are literally hopeless against these new variants and sub-lineages though some are claiming that they reduce disease severity and lower risk of mortality!
It is projected that in a matter of weeks, most of the predominant variants and sub-lineages in circulation will be quickly superseded by a new cluster of SARS-CoV-2 variants
that have better growth advantage and are also more immune evasive.
Unlike in the past, when we have specific periodic surges driven by one or tow variants of concern with periods of respite, we will no longer see such surges anymore, rather, the world will be faced by a continuous onslaught of COVID-19 infections driven by clusters consisting of numerous variants and sub-lineages that are quickly displaced by newer clusters.
The SARS-CoV-2 is rapidly evolving and spawning newer mutations and subvariants and sub-lineages at an unprecedented phase that has never been witnessed in the annals of virology.
The next clusters are expected to be head by the CH.1.1, CH.3, XAY.2, XBC, XBF, BE.10, CH.3.1, XBK, BQ.1.15, BR.2.1 variants and sub-lineages among many others.
All these newer variants are likely to be also more immune evasive and also more transmissible with enhanced growth advantage.
The XBK variant is a BA.5.2 and CJ.1 recombinant that first emerged in Netherlands but has since seems to be growing in circulation in various parts of Europe including Belgium, Austria, Denmark and even Japan now.
The XAY.2 recombinant variant is the most concerning variant as besides being a Delta and BA.2 recombinant variant, it seems to be having enhanced growth advantage and is now found in many countries already and is expected to becoming dominant very fast.
There are speculations that it has enhanced pathogenesis which contributes to increased disease severity and hospitalizations along with increased mortality risk.
It is now found in Denmark, Philippines, Sweden, South Korea South Africa, New Zealand, Germany, Australia but so far in small clusters but that is expected to change in coming weeks as it becomes predominant.
Worrying, it is also anticipated that some of these variants and sub-lineages as they continue to evolve, might start ‘picking up’ mutations around the 680-699 regions of the spike and also unique 839 or 486 (through reverse zoonotic infections especially by minks, coinfections or recombinant events) mutations. All of which are expected to contribute to disease severity through syncytia formation.
While we are fortunate to a certain degree that most of the current new variants and sub-lineages in circulation are only causing mild symptomatic infections in the otherwise general healthy populations except those in the vulnerable groups (ie the aged, the young, the obese, the immunocompromised those with existing comorbidities and those with certain ‘genetic-makeup’), that is expected to change drastically in coming weeks.
Also, it should be noted that it is a complete fallacy to assume that even an asymptomatic or mild infection is ok as these new variants are not only more immune evasive but they have adapted so well to disarm most of the human host immune responses so as to accommodate it ‘plans’ for longer periods of viral persistence in the human host.
Viral persistence is a major health threat and even more concerning is that latest studies are showing that during its presence in the human host in various viral reservoir areas such as deep tissues or various organs etc, it is able to control or even decrease inflammatory levels so that its presence is not easily detectable until stages where sufficient damage has been done to those particular tissues or organs.
That is why, we are now seeing so many sudden fatal outcomes contributing to excess deaths from heart failures, kidney failures, other organ failures, strokes and sepsis etc.
The coming weeks will be more fun as these many new variants become predominant and we expect that 2023 will even be more interesting as it is very likely more lethal and pathogenic SARS-CoV-2 variants
and even SARS-CoV-3 might debut along with newer strains of other pathogens while the masses continue to have their immune systems depleted via constant reinfections.
Without even considering China, the IHME model at University of Washington is predicting on an optimistic and conservative level that up to a million people are expected to die from COVID-19 for the next three months ie from now to the 1st
Of April 2023.
We at Thailand Medical News rather believe that without the advent of any other new more pathogenic or lethal variant besides those we already mentioned, there should be at least 3 to 6 million COVID-19 deaths including considering China till the Ist
of April 2023, taking into account the current kinetics of the pandemic. This figure does not include excess deaths or deaths due to “long COVID” issues. We do hope that we are wrong.
For the latest on new SARS-CoV-2 Variants
, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.