Books – Syed Metwally
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread widely across the world, with health officials and authorities expressing concern about the astonishing rise in the infection rate and urging everyone to take all necessary measures.
But even when cases rise to record levels, a large number of people remain unconcerned and are in fact hoping that this will lead to the spread of immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Given that the new Covid variant “Omicron” is relatively lighter than the delta variant, even if it is highly contagious, some experts claim that it may cause long-term natural immunity, according to timesofindia.
How does your body remember the SARs-COV-2 virus?
Studies have shown that people who recover from COVID-19 develop a strong immune response to the virus, which in turn protects them from getting infected again in the future. This suggests that the body’s immune system is able to remember the virus, but how?
The human body has two main lines of defense, the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system.
The innate immune response is the first line of defense that begins early when the viral particle is recognized. This continues to stimulate the host cell to release a protein that inhibits viral replication, or it can involve the immune system to try to stop the compromised cells.
On the other hand, the adaptive immune response takes longer to elicit a response, because the immune system must first recognize the virus before an attack begins. However, the adaptive immune system is slow and can take several days before B cells and T cells can do their roles, once Virus detection and elimination, memory T and B cells are formed, these remain dormant until they come into contact with the same pathogen. Not only do viral particles are recognized faster, but also result in stronger interactions, providing long-term protection.
Do the variables affect your body differently? How is omicron different from delta or other variants?
Viruses are programmed to mutate and new variants must appear from time to time. These new variants may differ from the original strain in terms of mutation and risk.
Given that the omicron variant contains more than 30 mutations in the spike protein itself, the scientists said it could evade vaccine-induced immunity and therefore could spread at a rapid rate, supporting the rapid rise in the number of Covid cases, the increase in the omicron yield and the rise in penetration cases, by comparison. With a delta variant, the new variant is four times more transmissible, but less severe.
Does a mild, highly infectious variant mean broad spectrum immunity?
The Omicron variant has proven mild so far, and with little or no hospitalization and intensive care needed, experts believe it can provide broad-based immunity, without having to pay a high price for it.
At its inception, top infectious disease experts said the Omicron variant of Covid was “almost unstoppable” and would eventually affect a large population, even with booster doses. Experts also claimed that the variant could provide natural immunity to a large population and that it COVID-19 can also push out of the pandemic phase, some have even said that taking precautionary measures will only lead to the emergence of a super variable, while restricting the possibility of spreading immunity, however, many have called these claims saying that the risks involved Too high.
Can the spread of Omicron promise lifelong immunity to Covid, as a “natural vaccine”?
Recently, researchers introduced the idea that the Omicron variant could act as a “natural vaccine”, and Professor Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading, recently supported the idea that like influenza, Omicron poses no risks to healthy people, given Risks It was also stated that Omicron could boost immunity without causing serious illness.
So, does this mean that we can expect broad-based immunity and protection from Covid infection in the future?
Indian virologist Shahid Jameel describes it as a “dangerous idea”, “more rooted in epidemiological fatigue and an inability to do more, than the evidence available at this time,” adding: “The people who support this idea don’t take Covid into account.” the long”.
Regarding immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, experts said it may wane over time.
According to a recent study by the Yale School of Public Health, published in The Lancet Microbe, unvaccinated people should have immunity to infection again for 3 to 6 months after they contract COVID-19.
An old study published in Science found that immunity can last for up to 8 months, while a study claims that antibodies from COVID-19 infection last for at least 5-7 months.
This only indicates that COVID immunity only lasts for a certain period of time, meaning that reinfection could be a long-term potential.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that preliminary evidence suggests that there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron (for example, people who were previously infected with COVID-19 can get reinfected more easily with Omicron), compared to variants with Omicron. Others are of concern, but the information is limited.
While nothing is certain and more research is awaited on Omicron, it is important that we take vaccination seriously, given that immunity to an infection or two doses of a vaccine may wane over time, one should get booster doses when they are available to him.
Regardless, wear a mask, maintain social distancing and always keep hands clean.
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