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  • The Coronavirus Discussion Thread.
  • Premier Icon TiRed
    Free Member

    There are two mutations in the spike protein that are noteworthy. N501Y is the UK variant. This binds harder to the ACE2 receptor which might make the strain more contagious. The SA and Br strains have E484K which evades immunity – well the most immunogenic part. It also renders some antibodies resistant. Combinations of the two mutations have arisen in the uk already.

    The terminology is original amino acid – location on genome – new amino acid. The uk strain is also missing a couple of amino acids at 69/70 location on the string of amino acids.

    To be honest, this is evolutionary biology in action. We’d probably select for it anyway. Especially in patients who catch it whilst immune compromised.

    I’m less concerned than many as some cross immunity is what matters. There is a lot of in vitro evidence of preservation of some protection. It’s not all doom and gloom. These are not the vaccine escape mutants you are looking for. They will come but it is vey early days.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    Thanks TiRed.

    These are not the vaccine escape mutants you are looking for

    Is there any historical or laboratory “induced” information to give even a rough idea how long we are looking at before a truly worrying variant emerges?

    I know that’s impossibly vague to answer I’m sure and the whole world is the petri dish but are we likely talking a few years or potentially a few months do you think?

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Is there any historical or laboratory “induced” information to give even a rough idea how long we are looking at before a truly worrying variant emerges?

    I’m guessing a big factor there is how widely the virus is circulating in the community.

    Our whole quarantine, track and trace, isolate policy has been a sack of shit from the beginning. For a supposedly technologically advanced nation….

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Free Member

    Is there any historical or laboratory “induced” information to give even a rough idea how long we are looking at before a truly worrying variant emerges?

    There are experiments that look at generating point mutations in expression systems to find likely escape mutatants. It’s natural way of mapping where your shiny therapeutic antibody does and does not bind. Normally these are done in “pseudovirus” systems – expression systems of benign viruses with the genetic information that express spike protein on the surface.

    Then it’s a numbers game. Rate of mutation is quite low – this is not HIV there is some error correction, and of course the number of hosts. Sadly that last one is a bit big, so low mutation and lots of hosts, rather than high mutation and few hosts.

    I suspect it will be more than a year before significant pandemic strains, as per influenza. What we are seeing is genetic plasticity. I saw a mapping last week of every point mutation on the spike protein surface that has been reported into the GISAID global database more than 50 times. Basically it’s the entire surface of the spike. Fact is there is still binding and protection from morbidity. That is what I want to see.

    The vaccine should be viewed as helmet, elbow and knee pads. You WILL fall off. The damage may be mitigated by some protection. Everyone will catch this eventually endemic new virus. Not everyone needs some protection – some falls are pretty mild. But some will. And as any cyclist knows, you can’t always tell who is going to fall badly!

    Plenty to read here if interested in the genetics

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/961299/Variants_of_Concern_VOC_Technical_Briefing_6_England-1.pdf

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    The vaccine should be viewed as helmet, elbow and knee pads. You WILL fall off. The damage may be mitigated by some protection. Everyone will catch this eventually endemic new virus. Not everyone needs some protection – some falls are pretty mild. But some will. And as any cyclist knows, you can’t always tell who is going to fall badly!

    I’m loving this, you should pass that to JVT.

    Premier Icon stcolin
    Free Member

    So, what is the real life worry? Is it going to become as deadly to the young like it was to the elderly (similar to the Spanish Flu)? Surely the virus will be constantly looking to target the weakest and at this point or in the near future that will be those who are not vaccinated?

    Premier Icon jam-bo
    Full Member

    Surely the virus will be constantly looking to target the weakest

    its sentient now?

    we’re dooomed!!!!

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    It’s been smarter than the government for a while

    Premier Icon dantsw13
    Free Member

    You set a low bar……

    Its purely evolution on a fast scale. The virus doesn’t care if it kills you or not. Whichever multiplies the fastest, survives the longest, infects you the easiest becomes the dominant strain.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    The virus doesn’t care if it kills you or not

    Not necessarily.

    A virus that causes its hosts to die 10s after infection will not thrive, no chance to pass itself on. A Uni friend of mine now in US Pharma has suggested that in general and given time viruses mutate to become more infectious but less serious. They aren’t out to kill us, just to take over (mwahahahah!)

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Free Member

    you should pass that to JVT.

    Thanks. I have.

    Surely the virus will be constantly looking to target the weakest and at this point or in the near future

    Not necessarily. We don’t really know who is going to get the Bad-covid. There have been asymptomatic 90yo in nursing home and some seriously ill very fit athletes (one typing this…). If you get rid of it from your upper respiratory tract with some mucosal antibodies – induced by pre-vaccination o perhaps a past cold, all good. If it falls down into the bottom of your lungs and beats up the alveoli air sacs, less good. But what’s causing that? Might just be bad luck, rather than being the weakest link. There are certainly some factors that are important – obesity, T2DM, CV disease, pregnancy… but it is NEVER so black and white as the media would like to portray. There are a lot of young people in hospital without comobidities. They may not die but they are taking the bed of a possible cancer surgery patient.

    Premier Icon stcolin
    Free Member

    I read a very interesting article on virulence with time for a virus. There is some evidence to say this happens, but not always. Myxomatosis a case in point.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Free Member

    9:40 this morning a text from my GP.
    9:42 first jab booked for tomorrow at 10:10.

    🙂

    Premier Icon dissonance
    Full Member

    Surely the virus will be constantly looking to target the weakest and at this point or in the near future that will be those who are not vaccinated?

    If it was sentient then the best approach would be to avoid the weak. Better to target healthy people and just give them a minor case of the sniffles which, at worse, they treat with a hot toddy than start killing people and have a major investment in wiping you out.
    Killing off your host is generally a bad thing but depends on the opportunity to spread beforehand. Something which kills fast is less likely to spread but something where it is asymptomatic but highly infectious for a couple of weeks before becoming lethal would spread well.
    The major worry is that it mutates into a form that the current antibodies (whether from previous infection or from vaccines) dont work against.

    Premier Icon boardmanfs18
    Full Member

    So do we have figures on how many young (40 and younger) people are in hospital?

    If this is increasing then, this needs to be put out there as looking at the current behaviour of the population, we have a scenario of vaccinated older people now thinking they are invincible, relaxing their guard and potentially spreading it to the younger population, who, historically have been not too bothered about getting the virus.

    Premier Icon dantsw13
    Free Member

    Theotherjonv: that’s my point – the virus isn’t sentient, doesn’t think. Mutations aren’t intentional, they are mistakes in cell division.

    There isn’t a virus god up there saying “hmm, that one was too deadly – lets try this one instead.”

    Premier Icon stcolin
    Free Member

    It appears to be happening in Israel, more young in hospital this time around. Could be the wording in the reporting, but it’s slightly worrying.

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Free Member

    Myxomatosis a case in point.

    The rabbits evolved back to become resistant to the virus. An Australian lab kept the wild type virus. But they also bred the wild type rabbit to. How cool is that?

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Myxomatosis is a mild disease in the species it evolved in, it was specifically introduced against European rabbits because of its effects. And it’s different because it is not mainly passed rabbit to rabbit, it’s carried by fleas and ticks which don’t care if their feeding source is alive or dead, within reason.

    That said, there are lower virulence strains known anyway….mainly in farmed rabbits (speculate – where they are more likely to have flea and tick control and hence that route gets closed off?)

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    more young in hospital this time around.

    more young as a proportion of population – to be expected if the older ones are vaccinated; or more young hospitalised as a proportion of young with infection?

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    more young in hospital this time around

    Absolute or % ?

    Percent can be very misleading

    800 old / 200 young is 20%

    Because of vaccinations, skewed to the old getting it first, this now drops to 20/80, young now make up 80% of cases but I know where I’d rather be.

    Premier Icon stcolin
    Free Member

    I’m trying to find the article. As I said, it was maybe more down to the wording that it sounded like more young are in hospital as an absolute number.

    My girlfriend had her jab on Saturday morning. She was pretty unwell on Saturday evening and is still not 100% today but feeling much better. But the WiFi in the house is now much faster.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    There isn’t a virus god up there saying “hmm, that one was too deadly – lets try this one instead.”

    That’s what they want you to think……

    Premier Icon sweepy
    Free Member

    Had my second dose of the pfizer on thurs. I’m tested 3 times a week and been off work since the prior thurs on holidays. Live pretty rural and follow the guidelines.
    Currently feeling like shit and been going downhill for a couple of days. achey, swollen painful glands, upset stomach. Just tested and negative still.
    I suspect its side effects, I’d have been bloody unlucky to catch anything else with the level of contact i’ve had. Totally worth it tho.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Free Member

    If you fly from Brazil to Paris, then on to the UK you then do your quarentine at home, and have to get there first. It beggars belief that someone thought this should be allowed.

    It isn’t allowed. But unfortunately it relies on people being honest about their travel history on their passenger locator form, hence the draconian ten years imprisonment for lying.

    You’d be brave to try this if you had a recent Brazil visa in your passport, but if you’ve been in Portugal, or have two passports then you can see how easy it is.

    Premier Icon butcher
    Full Member

    On the topic of indirect flights, surely in the 21st century we have the means to ascertain which countries an individual has travelled from? OK, maybe there are instances where you’ve crossed land borders unchecked. But any flight you board from anywhere in the world is recorded, right? So you then arrive back in blighty, they scan your passport in and up pops a list of every country you’ve visited in the past 10 years – or have I been watching too many Bourne movies?

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    But any flight you board from anywhere in the world is recorded, right? So you then arrive back in blighty, they scan your passport in and up pops a list of every country you’ve visited in the past 10 years

    Shocking breach of someone’s human rights…..etc etc.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    Flaperon
    Free Member

    It isn’t allowed. But unfortunately it relies on people being honest about their travel history on their passenger locator form

    It absolutely does not.

    Premier Icon butcher
    Full Member

    Shocking breach of someone’s human rights…..etc etc.

    I wasn’t being serious about the 10 year history. But I would imagine they have enough history to know which country you’ve travelled from in recent days, and the power to access it within seconds? I would have thought that’s a basic security measure. Genuinely interested in the answer.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Full Member

    I would have thought that’s a basic security measure. Genuinely interested in the answer.

    No is the answer.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I would have thought that’s a basic security measure. Genuinely interested in the answer.

    I wasn’t being serious either, but yeah, would be interested to know what info is actually available.

    Premier Icon dantsw13
    Free Member

    Can anyone decipher the meaning of the new vaccine effectiveness figures released today?

    Premier Icon klunky
    Free Member

    In terms of tracking flights people have taken…
    The data is available but to whom I don’t know. Data protection doesn’t really allow this information freely.

    The police can access this data but it needs to be proportionate. Tracking a murder suspect? No problem.

    Tracking someone for not paying tv licence? Not going to happen.

    Tracking every person coming to the U.K.? I have no idea in the current climate but I’d guess not unless the government pass some sort legislation allowing it.

    Some reading…

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Border_Targeting_Centre

    Passengers on flights entering and leaving the UK are screened by the NBTC.[citation needed] The airlines pass data (passenger name record, or PNR) on each passenger to the NBTC, including date of birth. The NBTC tracks former flights taken by each individual going back up to a decade, and determines whether an individual’s flight history could be suspicious. Each individual is checked against criminal record databases.

    It looks at the e-Borders Semaphore system for suspects. It looks mainly for rapists and murderers and pirates.

    Premier Icon joepud
    Full Member

    But I would imagine they have enough history to know which country you’ve travelled from in recent days, and the power to access it within seconds?

    Ex-work travel brain on I would sorta say no. Most OTAs can’t even link up a flight and hotel between brands they own when they have an email address, let alone store data for individual people across multiple locations. I have no clue how / where you would store this data and then have a backend / front end ui to search millions of people.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Full Member

    But I would imagine they have enough history to know which country you’ve travelled from in recent days, and the power to access it within seconds?

    How could UK LE access flight details between third countries and under which powers? Direct flight into UK yes, flight before that if it’s a connector maybe if you’re lucky, pinging around the back end of no where on little airlines no.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    So you then arrive back in blighty, they scan your passport in and up pops a list of every country you’ve visited in the past 10 years

    Firstly, no. Secondly, some people have multiple passports.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Full Member

    TiRed

    The vaccine should be viewed as helmet, elbow and knee pads. You WILL fall off. The damage may be mitigated by some protection. Everyone will catch this eventually endemic new virus. Not everyone needs some protection – some falls are pretty mild. But some will. And as any cyclist knows, you can’t always tell who is going to fall badly!

    Just typed out a big rambling post to try and define my choices better in my own mind regarding Covid but it went nowhere so deleted.

    Basically, ive got to decide when protecting my old mum instead makes her a prisoner to my concerns. To give her quality of life, to see her grandson and new great grandson (she has never even held) I am just going to have to take a leap of faith. I really don’t like doing that but by “protecting” her for another year I’m really just depriving her of what gives life meaning. Without sounding totally “me,me,me” I’m doing the same to myself.

    Nope, still not getting anywhere with this train of thought and feeling really conflicted still.

    Thanks for the reply though TiRed, I’m never conflicted about receiving good information!👍

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Basically, ive got to decide when protecting my old mum instead makes her a prisoner to my concerns. To give her quality of life, to see her grandson and new great grandson (she has never even held) I am just going to have to take a leap of faith. I really don’t like doing that but by “protecting” her for another year I’m really just depriving her of what gives life meaning. Without sounding totally “me,me,me” I’m doing the same to myself.

    I feel for you. My parents are desperate to hug me and the grandchildren again. The teenage grandchildren probably less bothered.

    Kids go back to school next week, parents get second jab early April. I’m taking the view that once that second jab has taken effect, they are as protected as they can be, and we’ll do whatever we are allowed to do under the rules at end of May. The isolation has had a huge effect on both sets of grandparents this last year. They have all said they would rather take their chances at 79-85 years of age than gave another year like they’ve just had – assuming no major changes to the virus’ mortality risk getting ahead of the vaccine, which TiRed is encouraging about.

    I’ll be honest, I won’t be jabbed till April, so July/August for full protection to kick in. I’ve got at least the first half of the summer term to worry about the kids bringing it home from school, Scouts, Rangers, gymnastics, music centre, plus MrsMC working as a social worker. I really don’t want to get shot so close to Armistice Day, to use that metaphor.

    Premier Icon Del
    Full Member

    Vaccinations to be ramped up massively I heard in the news yesterday…

    Premier Icon stcolin
    Free Member

    Great news from home this morning, my parents getting their first jab on Saturday. Huge relief. With my girlfriend and her parents vaccinated, that leaves me now.

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