In the previous days, there was intense talk about a new strain of coronavirus – omicron, which some experts say is potentially dangerous due to 32 mutations in spike protein, which could help the virus bypass the protection provided by the vaccine, but also increase the ability to spread the virus.
– It is known in nature that genetic divergence is a characteristic of all living beings, from microorganisms to humans. Microbes are known to be grandmasters in the way of survival in the struggle for survival. These genetic manipulations caused by the latest virus are a surprise that we cannot predict – explains virologist Nada Kuljić Kapuljica for RTS.
According to her, many variants of the coronavirus have been identified so far, but only four have so far been classified into more severe variants of concern.
– This means that, if a new variant appears, the basic question is what consequences that variant carries. Since this is a hit question on all televisions, the questions are whether this new strain that has appeared, whether it causes a more serious disease, higher mortality, whether the vaccine will be effective, whether it is transmitted faster, whether certain therapies be effective. Neither (chief American epidemiologist Anthony, ed.) Fauci nor (epidemiologist Predrag, ed.) Kon know the answer to that question, and I don’t have one either – the virologist emphasizes.
He points out that the great thing at the moment is that these genetic variants can be quickly diagnosed thanks to genetics, biotechnology and modern means.
– It is not all the same to write those genetic letters, they should also be read, and it takes time to read. Modern virology cannot replace classical virology, when you have to prove some things, and that proving takes a long time – says Nada Kuljić Kapulica.
He reminds that the Brazilian strain of coronavirus quickly disappeared, despite the fact that there were many people who received reinfection.
– Let me remind you, in 2002, SARS also disappeared, it was the first fatal coronavirus, except for the four that do not cause diseases, it was in about 40 countries, had a mortality rate of 10% and disappeared – the virologist reminds.
What happened in Japan
In Japan, the number of newly infected people has dropped sharply and now several hundred cases are registered daily. In August, there were more than 200,000 new cases on a daily basis. Some explanations for this situation go so far as to state that the virus committed genetic suicide. Nada Kuljić Kapuljica explains what happened in Japan.
– Japan had a prompt vaccination after the Olympics. Until then, they hesitated, after the Olympics, they had about three percent of those vaccinated, now I think they have 77 percent of those vaccinated. That is one category – the virologist points out.
Besides, he adds, there was no delay in vaccination in Japan.
– Due to the incident in August with the Modern vaccine, in some batches of that vaccine, impurities of some substances were found, the Japanese eliminated those batches and continued vaccination and already at the beginning of November had a high vaccination rate of 200,000, after the Olympics, their number is now about 200, and the other day they did not have a death case – states Nada Kuljić Kapulica.
One of the main reasons is vaccination, and it is prompt – in three months, they increased the percentage of the vaccinated population.
– They are also a very disciplined people, unlike us. They strongly respected physical distance regardless of psychology, alienation. Besides, they are thin by nature, they are not fat, and it is known that obesity is one of the factors of illness – the virologist notes.
The third explanation, according to her, is that there have been some genetic changes in the virus.
– They proved that in strains, patients have not only a mutation that accumulated on the S protein, but also that there is a mutation in the virus itself, on the part of the virus that participates in the transcription of viral RNA, that is protein 14. If that disorder occurs protein, it cannot reproduce or it slows down – says Nada Kuljić Kapulica.
Also, he says, the phenomena in the body of the attacked person were examined and it was proved that there is one enzyme in the Japanese that neutralizes the virus and protein 14.
– They received the information that this mistake is happening, it is just a hypothesis by which they are trying to solve this enigma – says Nada Kuljić Kapulica, adding that all this does not necessarily mean that the Japanese will be protected forever and that this is a break.
He adds that we in Serbia will also take a break because the number of newly infected people in our country is falling.
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