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*FLASH* WHO classifies B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern and names it Omicron


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https://www.who.int/news/item/26-11-2021-classification-of-omicron-(b.1.1.529)-sars-cov-2-variant-of-concern

"The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) is an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and assesses if specific mutations and combinations of mutations alter the behaviour of the virus. The TAG-VE was convened on 26 November 2021 to assess the SARS-CoV-2 variant: B.1.1.529.

The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant. In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021."

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Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology, the TAG-VE has advised WHO that this variant should be designated as a VOC, and the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a VOC, named Omicron.

As such, countries are asked to do the following:

  • enhance surveillance and sequencing efforts to better understand circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants.
  • submit complete genome sequences and associated metadata to a publicly available database, such as GISAID.
  • report initial cases/clusters associated with VOC infection to WHO through the IHR mechanism.
  • where capacity exists and in coordination with the international community, perform field investigations and laboratory assessments to improve understanding of the potential impacts of the VOC on COVID-19 epidemiology, severity, effectiveness of public health and social measures, diagnostic methods, immune responses, antibody neutralization, or other relevant characteristics."

 

 

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Israel state of emergency:


https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-03552-w?utm_source=Nature+Briefing&utm_campaign=053fd5d19d-briefing-dy-20211126&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c9dfd39373-053fd5d19d-42796763

"Researchers spotted B.1.1.529 in genome-sequencing data from Botswana. The variant stood out because it contains more than 30 changes to the spike protein — the SARS-CoV-2 protein that recognizes host cells and is the main target of the body’s immune responses. Many of the changes have been found in variants such as Delta and Alpha, and are linked to heightened infectivity and the ability to evade infection-blocking antibodies."

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canada, usa, uk, EU countries, asian countries (Singapore), banned flights from countries in Africa, not sure the whole list, was surprised US acted to quickly though, must be bad 

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22 minutes ago, dj230 said:

canada, usa, uk, EU countries, asian countries (Singapore), banned flights from countries in Africa, not sure the whole list, was surprised US acted to quickly though, must be bad 

The problem being, as with Alpha, Beta, and Delta, by the time you see it, it's already out of the box.

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14 minutes ago, JamesE said:

The problem being, as with Alpha, Beta, and Delta, by the time you see it, it's already out of the box.

I think this was due to complacency in the past, so I am glad they're taking a more active approach (for example, some countries have not acted yet, so the virus can go from Africa countries to another country, then into USA even though they banned travel from African countries)

When covid-19 was first discovered, no one closed their borders until it was spreading well inside the country.

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2021 shook out the weak hands in the Thai real estate market. 

if Omicron shuts the world down again 2022 will see real estate at new lows. 

 

 

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