Covid-19 Second Wave Is More Contagious Due to Mutation

Covid-19 has become potentially a lot more contagious and potentially less deadly as Covid-19 cases rise across Europe and North America in the beginning of the autumn of 2020’s “2nd wave”.

Compared with HIV, SARS-CoV-2 is changing much more slowly as it spreads. But aerosol spreading and more contagious mutations are definitely occurring. Total cases in Europe, North America and India are also becoming more exponential as young people and children spread it from their schools and universities to the general population.

The Covid-19 virus is continuing to mutate throughout the course of the pandemic, with experts believing it is probably becoming more contagious. This study released on Wednesday sheds new light on how its becoming more contagious.

The ‘Houston strain’ is becoming more dominant. Patients infected with the Gly614 variant strains had significantly higher virus loads in the nasopharynx on initial diagnosis. Social distancing of two meters is likely not enough given the significant aerosol spread of the virus indoors.

We’ve known airborne spread is occurring with Covid-19 for months, but the CDC refuses for some reason even to acknowledge this point. We also know that, due to Facebook’s being weaponized, a majority of U.S. citizens won’t be running to take a vaccine any time soon.

Around half of jobs that were lost during the pandemic and half of small businesses that closed aren’t coming back. For restaurants it’s actually higher. The U.S. has 7 million cases of Covid-19 and positivity rates are increasing fast in Europe and now Canada as well. With the 2nd wave being three times as bad as the first wave in pandemics, this triple threat is likely upon us.

Israel moved to further tighten its second countrywide lockdown on Thursday as coronavirus cases continued to soar. And in a few weeks, it won’t be alone in a 2nd lockdown. A second wave means a second round of business shutdowns as community spread spirals out of control.

As I predicted in March, India will clearly be among one of the worst countries hit. This was flagged as misinformation at that time on Medium (suffice to say I no longer write on Medium).

Researchers in Houston, who have been studying coronavirus since March, have warned that a new more dominant strain D614G could be adapting to get around barriers. Just when you thought wearing masks was ‘good enough’.

At the beginning of the pandemic people were advised to lessen their chance of contracting and spreading the virus by sticking to social distancing rules, washing their hands regularly and wearing face masks. With the promise of vaccines being rushed, the virus is also adapting.

The idea that business will be back to usual in six months is now looking absurd, as is the V-shaped recovery. Instead, the K-shaped and W-shaped recoveries are both very real and extreme scenarios taking place.

The initial genome of COVID-19, consisting of 30,000 letters, was revealed in January 2020. Since then mutations — consisting of a letter change in the genome — have been reported all over the world. But any two viruses from any two patients anywhere in the world differ on average by only 10 letters, meaning Sars-CoV-2 is part of a single clonal lineage. However, as more people contract Covid-19, mutations could become more significant.

The cited study this week, in late September 2020, found that one of the mutations D614G is the most dominant in the US and is behind 99.9 percent of cases in the Houston area in Texas. This means as Covid-19 enters the mainstream population, the economic hardships it has caused could get worse before it gets better.

The U.S. recorded 44,110 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Thursday and it has already passed the 200,000 death mark. Brazil, India, Mexico and the U.K. have also been very poor at handling the pandemic. It’s reaching new levels in most of Europe, India and the United States. Seven states hit record highs in average daily new cases on Thursday. In Montana and Wisconsin new infections spiked more than 62% on a weekly basis.

It’s really simple. The study highlights that the mutation changes the structure of the “spike protein” and could be aiding the spread of that strain. These spikes also allow the virus to cling onto infected cells. This increases the ability of the mutated virus to infect cells. Some regions of the spike protein — the primary target of global vaccine efforts — are replete with amino acid replacements, perhaps indicating the action of selection.

This mutation has now become dominant. There were several different strains of the virus that showed up in Houston initially. But when an outbreak happened over the summer, the researchers discovered that nearly every genetic sample they took contained a mutation on the surface of the virus.

The change in the spike protein “has made it such that it can attach more readily to the cells in the back of the throat”. This means that even a vaccine might not be a reliable way to mass immunize the population. Realistically, we’re not even at the halfway mark of the pandemic as of September, 2020.

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