January 31, 2023

MUI Daily News

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Covid in China: Should the rise in cases be fear of the emergence of a new variant?

With China facing a new wave of infections and the United States particularly affected by the recently emerged XBB.1.5 strain, questions about the possible origin of a variant in Asia are worrisome.

Should we fear the emergence of a new variation? With eyes on China An unprecedented situation As it faces, the question arises about the origin of new strains. Worry remains if the WHO explains on Wednesday that no new variant has been identified in China.

“Delaying the introduction of cases seems illusory”

A new committee to anticipate and prevent health crises is questioning their effectiveness in preventing new measures for travelers from China. New mutations of the virus. A group of scientists reminds BFM TV “The restrictions imposed on South Africa when Omicron appeared at the end of 2021 had little impact on the evolution of the epidemic in Europe, as Omicron was introduced in Europe by countries other than South Africa”.

It seems delusional to delay the introduction of Chinese cases or variants.

The Measures taken to avoid excess pollution Originating from China is “illusory”, the virus has spread through other countries and mutation risks are not limited to countries hit hardest by Covid. Rise in cases What has been observed there is fascinating.

The panel recommends continued testing Discover new variations And expect them better, but travelers in France should do these checks before they arrive. A requirement Negative test before 48 hours The team informs our colleagues that departure would be a solution. Vaccination certificates or the wearing of masks can also be imposed.

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The question of immunity

Interviewed BFM TVDutch virologist Marion Koopmans believes the absence Herd immunity In China, which is currently responsible for the increase in cases, may be beneficial or hinder new variants.

Unless immunity is very extensive, selection pressure (on the virus) is not very strong

He explains that one of the main motivations for new variants is the virus’ need to evade the human immune system. Popularized as: The easier it is to get sick, the more the virus must be modified to make people sicker. The covid evolution helps maintain him TransferabilityTherefore, unless it is transmitted, it does not have to evolve.

In China, a limited number of doses were given, leading to a strict conclusion Zero Covid policy At the end of the year some are vaccinated with immunization or vaccination.

What are the major risks?

Despite this low propensity for the development of new varieties in China, some sub-lineages have been identified. This is the case of BF.7 under the lineage of BA.5, a derivative of Omicron. If these are highly contagious strains, epidemiologist Philippe Amuel interviewed by our colleagues is reassuring.

We can imagine that the immune shield currently in place in France will protect us, at least from the more severe forms.

After The risk of new variants appearing is reduced Thanks to the weakened immune system, it is combined immunity. When these sub-lineages are formed, the population is strongly affected by small contaminated and vaccinated areas, and by large, the immunity is better and the appearance should be avoided. Severe forms.

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Covars underscores this particularity of immunity in China, which works in favor of other countries, protected differently, especially by vaccination.

Variants that could emerge in China in this context of different immune profiles between Chinese and European populations do not have immune escape properties that would allow easy spread to European populations.

1 to 2 million deaths in China?

France info Several reports estimate the death toll from a new wave of Covid-19 in China at between 1 and 2 million. Beijing has vaccinated only 10% of its population for now.

All travelers from China are subject to Covid tests Positive for 1 in 3 new arrivals from this country. Government spokesman Olivier Véran announced on January 4, “Tests for asymptomatic travelers returning from China: one in three were positive, thus confirming the need for the control measures we are putting in place”.