Omicron is brand new. There are far more questions than answers about this new variant. . Community spread (not related to travel) has already been documented in Asia and Europe and Canada. It is almost certainly already well established in America.
Multiple scenarios for this and all future varients exist:
1. Omicron transmits more quickly than Delta and evades immunity from vaccines and prior infections. In this case, Omicron unseats Delta as the dominant strain, as well as evades some immunity and causes hospitalizations only slightly more than delta and causes similarly severe disease.
2. 'Severe downside' scenario: This much less likely scenario would see both disease severity and immunity against hospitalizationssubstantially worsethan with Delta and would have a worse impact than the 1st scenario.
3. False alarm scenario: Omicron is a nothingburger - and spreads more slowly than Delta. It hasno significant effects on the global pandemic.
4. Upside scenario:
Doctors in South Africa say that, so far, the strain is causing only milder symptoms — such as a headache and tiredness — than previous versions of the virus andhasn't led to a single hospitalization or death. The early reports mean Omicron could be a Christmas gift that may speed up the end of the pandemic. It has so many mutations — 32 on the spike protein alone, twice as many as Delta — which could mean it isoptimized to infect and be less lethal, in line with how most respiratory viruses evolve!! High levels of previous infection and vaccination may be offering protection against the strain. This would also be a positive sign because it shows that the highly mutated variant is not completely unrecognizable to the immune system of Covid survivors or the vaccinated. Experts need at least two weeks to determine what impact the Omicron variant will have; due to the time it takes for someone to become seriously sickened after catching the strain. Scientists also need at least two weeks to work out whether Omicron's mutations could make it more infectious than Delta and/ or more resistant to vaccines.
Here, Omicron is slightly more transmissible than Delta but causes much less severe disease.This normalization scenario would result in anet reduction in disease burden. More cases more quickly but with far fewer hospitalizations and far fewer deaths!
The range of medical outcomes remains wide. This variant was discovered less than one week ago in Batswana. More transmissable or more infectious isNOT necessarily bad.To this point, there isnot one shred of evidence that Omicron is more serious or more deadly than delta or the original variant. Some public officials and some media outlets are attempting to panic you on the basis of NO EVIDENCE. Travel bans and lockdowns are pointless and have been proven to be ineffective. The upside scenario is more likely than the downside scenarios. Meaningful data will be available in the next two weeks.
A new drug cocktail isfour times more effectiveat keeping Covid patients out of intensive care than those patients being treated with current standard drug therapiies. While the steroiddexamethasonewas the first drug to be licensed for treating the virus, trials indicate that combining it with the heart failure medicationspironolactoneyields dramatically better results. The combination has been called theSpidex cocktail. A study analyzed hospital patients in Delhi, India. In those hospitalised patients taking the ‘Spidex’ cocktail, just 5.4 per cent were admitted to intensive care units compared to 19.6 per cent of those taking dexamethasone alone. This is a small study, larger trials of the Spidex regime are needed. These drugs are safe, FDA approved, and widely available. The findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology, revealed that the Covid patients taking Spidex performed better onevery clinical, biochemical and radiological measurethan those patients on only high doses of dexamethasone. The treatment works by ‘turning off’ the impact the virus has on the body, rather than targeting the virus itself, therefore the combination should work against the mutated Omicron virus and all future variants.
If confirmed, this is an important treatment option for hospitalized Covid patients. If you have a family member who is being started on steroids in a hospital for Covid, asking the doctor to discuss adding Spironolactone is a very reasonable request.
There is a sgnificant uptick in Covid Hospitalizations in Pennsylvania over the last week. Currently, 3,734 patients are in PA hospitals with Covid. This is up more than ten percent in a week. This compares to the winter peak last year of 6,600 patients admitted. Case rates are also up.Mortality rates have stayed low.
We may be starting another winter wave of Covid. This virus is becoming seasonal like the flu. It is also becoming less dangerous and less lethal.
In published results from Pfizer's vaccination of children between the ages of 12 and 15, the Pfizer trial enrolled 2,260 adolescents 12 to 15 years of age in the United States. In the trial, 18 cases of COVID-19 were observed in the placebo group (n=1,129) versus none in the vaccinated group (n=1,131). This means that the case rate protection from vaccination added only 2% protection to the 98% protection which already existed from the natural immunity in these young people. The rate of serious illness was Zero % in both groups. The rate of hospitalization was Zero% in both groups. The death rate was ZERO % in both groups, unvaccinated and vaccinated.
Our young people are well protected from Covid by their natural immunity. There's nothing wrong with vaccinating children against Covid, however, it has very little effect on their health and wellbeing. This is a disease of the old and the sick.