BA.5 Is Driving A Wave Of Covid Infections, But Not Deaths Here’s Why Experts Say We Should Still Be Cautious

The evasive BA.5 omicron variant is driving up Covid cases and hospitalizations as it spreads rapidly across the United States—but despite deaths remaining lower compared to earlier waves, experts tell Forbes there are still plenty of reasons to remain cautious and warn Americans against letting their guard down too soon.

While Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations have been on the rise in most states in recent weeks and jumped 20% nationwide over the past fortnight, deaths have risen only modestly and have hovered around 300-400 a day since April. Driving the new wave is BA.5, an omicron offshoot that has a “superpower to cause reinfection” and can evade immunity from vaccination and previous infection, even from other omicron variants, Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, told Forbes.

The disconnect reflects the fact that vaccines and past infections still provide strong protection against serious illness and death for BA.5 as well as there being more options available to treat early disease like Pfizer’s Paxlovid. Chin-Hong said there are still plenty of reasons to avoid infection, not least because Covid can still cause severe symptoms “even if you don’t end up in the hospital” and symptoms can “last for weeks.”

Infection also carries the risk of “long Covid”—lingering and sometimes debilitating symptoms that can persist for months or years—and early evidence suggests this is more likely the more times you get infected. Avoiding infection also helps safeguard people around you who may have less protection against serious disease like children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, Dr. Stuart Turville, a virologist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, told Forbes.

Increasingly transmissible variants of omicron have surged across the U.S. this year. BA.5, the most infectious form of the virus yet, rapidly spread and became the dominant variant in early July. It now accounts for an estimated 78% of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and community transmission has spiked. Concerns over BA.5, as well as the related BA.4, prompted officials to direct vaccine makers to target the variants in updated shots and the Biden Administration announced new plans to tackle its spread.

Officials and experts say it is especially important to ensure strong protection against serious disease by keeping up-to-date on vaccinations, including booster shots. Despite the appeals of public health officials and being available for many months, booster uptake in the U.S. is poor. Fewer than half of fully vaccinated people have received their first booster dose and fewer than 30% of those who have and are eligible for a second have taken up the offer, according to CDC data.

More variants. It is inevitable that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, will evolve and spawn new variants over time. Another omicron offshoot, BA.2.75—inexplicably and successfully dubbed “Centaurus” by the internet—has already caught the eye of virologists. The variant is spreading rapidly in India, has been detected across Europe and North America and shows signs of evading immunity.

Little data is available and it’s not clear whether BA.2.75 causes more severe disease. It’s also not clear whether it would be able to take over from BA.5 “as the ruler of the roost,” Chin-Hong explained, as they haven’t had a chance to directly compete with each other as yet.”

A great deal. Data collection and surveillance is poor compared to earlier on in the pandemic. Individual testing is down, genomic surveillance is reduced and evidence suggests cases could be vastly higher than official figures state. Conversely, hospital figures are inflated and reflect routine testing upon admission, which catches many “incidental” infections from people seeking care for other problems.

There is a lot to be understood about the newer omicron variants as well, experts say. BA.5, as well as other more recent omicron offshoots like BA.4 and BA.2.75, are relatively new pathogens that are infecting or reinfecting large numbers of people in the community, Turville explained, which makes it hard to provide absolute and definitive answers. “As with most things with SARS CoV-2, it is a large bag of unknowns,” he added.

Turville told Forbes the decoupling of deaths from cases shows the longer term effects of vaccination and exposure to the virus. It’s a “maturing immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in general” which has taken off the “edge of disease severity,” he added.

While cases are growing—and likely undercounted—it’s worth noting that they are a long way from the earlier omicron peak in January. In July, there were around 100,000-120,000 cases reported on average compared to more than 800,000 in mid January.

I am a senior reporter for the Forbes breaking news team, covering health and science from the London office. Previously I worked as a reporter for a trade publication

Source: BA.5 Is Driving A Wave Of Covid Infections, But Not Deaths—Here’s Why Experts Say We Should Still Be Cautious

Critics by

So far there is no evidence that this variant causes more serious illness. And infectious disease experts say that even though new infections are on the rise, the impact of BA.5 is unlikely to be on the scale of the surge we saw last winter — in part because the country is better equipped to manage it.

The U.S. is averaging about 300 deaths a day, compared to 3,000 last winter. Dr. Anna Durbin, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says the combination of prior infections and vaccinations is still protective, and COVID-19 treatments are better.

“Most people have some underlying immunity that is helpful in fighting the virus,” she explains. “We have antivirals … And I think that because of that … we’re not seeing a rise in deaths. And that’s very reassuring. It tells me that even this virus, even BA.5, is not so divergent that it is escaping all arms of the immune system.”

She adds that new booster shots specifically targeting omicron — which could roll out as soon as this fall — should also be helpful in preventing serious illness and deaths.

There are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to the virus, like masking up in crowded indoor spaces. Here’s how to step up your mask game.

Plus, children under the age of 5 are finally eligible to get vaccinated (and while many parents are hesitant, public health experts are encouraging them not to wait any longer). And adults ages 50 and older, as well as those over 12 with certain underlying conditions, can get a second booster shot.

And, if you already have plans to travel or attend gatherings this summer, check out these tips for protecting yourself outdoors, improving indoor airflow and what to do if you get sick while on vacation.

Related contents:

BA.5 variant now makes up 78% of active Covid-19 cases in the US Mail Online

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A New Idea To Reduce Wealth Inequality: Tax Capital Gains At Death At A Higher Rate Than During Life

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) have proposed different ways to tax unrealized capital gains every year. Their shared goal is understandable, with trillions of dollars escaping income tax under current law. But each plan raises serious administrative and legal problems. My colleague, Rob McClelland, and I suggest a simpler, more effective approach: Tax unrealized gains of the wealthy at death at a higher rate than if assets are sold or given as gifts during life.

An unrealized gain is the increase in the value of an asset, like stock, which has not yet been sold. Taxing these gains is important because unrealized gains now account for more than half of the staggering amount of wealth of the very richest Americans, those with at least $100 million of net worth.

Current law encourages the wealthy to hold their assets until death, when those gains escape income tax permanently. This happens for two reasons. First, current law does not treat a bequest as a sale so no income tax is due at death. And, second, heirs are allowed a “stepped-up basis” where they never pay tax on any increase in the value of property during a decedent’s lifetime.

The results: Government loses a massive amount of revenue, wealth inequality is perpetuated through generations, and investors are encouraged to retain (or “lock-in”) poorly balanced, and less productive, portfolios. More than fifty years ago, two leading tax experts described the failure to tax gains of property transferred at death as “the most serious defect in our federal tax system.”

To fix this longstanding flaw, our plan would tax unrealized gains at death for the very rich (couples with more than $100 million and singles with more than $50 million) at the tax rate for ordinary income—currently 37 percent. But profits from sales or gifts of assets during life would still be taxed at 23.8 percent. Transfers to spouses would be tax exempt. And the very rich would be allowed to deduct their income taxes at death from their estate taxes.

Our proposal turns the existing incentive for appreciated assets on its head. Instead of encouraging people to hold their appreciated assets until death to avoid income taxes, our proposal encourages them to sell these assets before they die.

For example, imagine an entrepreneur who owns $100 billion of his company stock, for which he paid nothing when he founded the firm. Under our proposal, if he holds his stock until death, he’d owe $37 billion in income tax. But if he sells during life, he would owe $23.8 billion. And, if he wants to transfer his stock to his children without paying the $37 billion, he could give his stock to them during his life and pay $23.8 billion.

To determine the reach of our proposal, Rob reviewed data from the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances, which he combined with Forbes 400 information (which is excluded from the survey). He estimated that taxpayers subject to our proposal have unrealized gains totaling about $7.5 trillion in 2022.

If these households realize $6 trillion of their $7.5 trillion of that gain during their lifetimes, and the remaining $1.5 trillion at death, our proposal would raise almost $2 trillion over time. Over the next 10 years alone, our plan could raise several hundred billion dollars, just like Biden’s and Wyden’s plan. (Our plan could raise more than theirs eventually, as our tax rate at death is higher than Biden’s and Wyden’s.)

For simplicity, we assumed the unrealized gains don’t grow over time, which likely makes our estimates conservative.

Taxing the wealthiest households on their unrealized gains at death is much easier to administer than Biden’s or Wyden’s plans to tax them annually. Our plan would rely on existing estate tax returns, and valuations, which the rich already file, while Biden’s and Wyden’s plans would require new annual filings for taxpayers during their lifetimes.

While few taxpayers would pay Biden’s or Wyden’s tax, many more would need to value all their assets annually, as taxpayers close to the line might move in and out of the regimes over time. How would the IRS determine whether all these taxpayers filed properly?

Finally, our proposal to collect taxes on transfers by gift or bequests is well -established under the US Constitution, but collecting taxes outside of transfers during their lifetimes raises unresolved legal issues.

Today, older, wealthier taxpayers often hang on to appreciated assets during their lifetimes, waiting to transfer them at death. Our plan encourages them to realize gains during life, which could lead to better balanced portfolios, broaden ownership of these assets, and generate much-needed tax revenue.

I am a Senior Fellow in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. I research, speak, and write on a range of federal income tax issues, with a focus on business

Source: A New Idea To Reduce Wealth Inequality: Tax Capital Gains At Death At A Higher Rate Than During Life

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Why Some People Get COVID More Than Once


Although the federal government does not collect data on COVID reinfections, and nor do health authorities in WA and Queensland, Victoria recorded almost 10,000 reinfections between late December 2021 and late March 2022. This compares with just 108 known reinfections in Victoria during the previous two years. NSW plans to release state reinfection data soon.

As the Omicron sub-variant BA.2 continues to fuel more infections, the spectre of repeat infections is well and truly upon us. Current vaccines were designed to protect against the original strain of SARS-CoV-2, and while the shots are crucial in shielding us from severe illness and death, they are less effective in preventing infection by newer variants.

 Unfortunately, natural immunity gained from a Delta infection also won’t stop us getting infected with Omicron. We learnt this with the rise of Omicron in South Africa late last year, when a population with relatively high natural immunity from previous coronavirus infections still fell victim to the merciless Omicron wave.

Reinfections have become something of a hallmark of Omicron. Since the rise of this highly transmissible strain, the number of people reinfected with coronavirus has spiked, in a pattern that is unique to the strain. Imperial College London researchers estimate a reinfection with Omicron is 5.4 times greater than with the Delta variant.

A letter published in The New England Journal of Medicine indicated that a previous COVID-19 infection was 90 per cent effective at preventing an infection with the Alpha, Beta or Delta variants, but only 56 per cent effective against Omicron.

In England, where Omicron has driven a spike in reinfections, provisional data from the UK Health Security Agency shows 10.7 per cent of all positive COVID-19 cases were reinfections in the last week of March.

The data shows that the number of weekly reinfections jumped from 20,000 to 50,000 in just one month, with reinfections occurring across all age groups, despite high vaccination levels. (A reinfection was counted when someone tested positive on two tests taken more than 90 days apart.)

Waning immunity is playing a part, along with the easing of restrictions. But the potent variable here is the rise of the BA.2 variant of Omicron, which is rapidly becoming the dominant strain globally.

A non-peer reviewed Swedish study suggests Omicron BA.2 could be more contagious than the original BA.1 strain due to its higher viral loads in the nose and throat. (The first case of a new recombinant variant combining BA.1 and BA.2, known as XE, was detected in New South Wales on April 9. Watch this space.)

The good news as far as reinfections go, is that catching the same variant twice is fairly unlikely. So if you got sick with Omicron BA.1, you’re probably in the clear when it comes to catching BA.2.

A more likely scenario is being reinfected after having Delta or an earlier strain. You’re more likely again to get infected if you’ve had no prior COVID infection at all, and that likelihood increases further if you’re unvaccinated.

While reinfection is no fun, the plus side is that it gives you excellent immunity when coupled with vaccination. The combination triggers a broader range of antibody and white cell responses in your system, meaning you are less likely to suffer serious illness on reinfection.

A preprint study from Qatar confirms that the best defence against Omicron BA.1 or BA.2 infections is a prior infection plus two vaccinations and a booster shot. This reduces the risk of infection by 77 per cent, compared with 52 per cent if you got three doses but had no prior infection, the study found.

Senior research fellow at the Kirby Institute’s infection analytics program Dr Deborah Cromer says COVID-19 may follow the trajectory of other respiratory viruses, such as the flu, when it comes to reinfection.

“People will get the flu once, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get the flu again,” she says. “They probably won’t get the flu twice in one season, but obviously, there are people who do. And if you’ve had the flu vaccine, it doesn’t mean you won’t get the flu, but your symptoms will probably be less severe.

“I think what we’re talking about is a respiratory virus that will keep changing, but if people’s immunity levels keep being maintained at a high level, then it should hopefully not be too severe.”

That’s pretty much how the 1918 Spanish flu petered out. The first couple of years of that pandemic were the worst in terms of severe sickness and death, but as the virus changed and spread over the following decades, it continued to infect people but was far less dangerous.

The key problem in Australia, though, is a lack of good data. As more people rely on rapid-antigen tests, there are fewer samples available for sequencing. ANU infectious diseases physician Peter Collignon says we need systematic surveillance to monitor infections and genomic sequencing to better understand how reinfections will impact us.

“Instead of having a one in 1000 chance of dying, is there one in 10,000 if you’re reinfected? What’s your chance of getting into hospital? And how is it proportionate to your socio-economic condition and your age? We need that sort of data to be able to plan for the future.”

Timna Jacks

By: Timna Jacks

Source: Why some people get COVID more than once

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A New Covid Wave Is Spreading In Europe — Here’s Why The U.S. Should Pay Attention

The number of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are approaching or surpassing record highs across Europe just weeks after countries lifted pandemic restrictions and outlined plans to live with the virus, which could be a warning sign for the U.S., where numbers have been falling for weeks, but which tends to follow trends in Europe.

Covid infections are on the rise across Europe including in France, the U.K., Ireland, Switzerland, Finland and Italy, and are respectively nearing or surpassing record highs in Germany and Austria, according to official data collated by Our World in Data.

Many of these countries—including the U.K., France, the Netherlands and Belgium—are also reporting increases in the number of Covid-19 hospital admissions, according to Our World in Data, and the number of Covid deaths in the region have also started to modestly increase including in the U.K., Sweden, Slovakia, Ireland and Iceland.

The Covid burden for many European countries was already high before the recent surge, though several are now fighting outbreaks that rank among the world’s very worst: excluding territories with a population smaller than 1 million, European nations account for 16 of the highest 20 death rates (including four in the top five) and 19 of the top 25 highest case rates.

While there is no unifying feature behind the surge, experts told Forbes the uptick is likely driven by a mixture of relaxed pandemic restrictions, waning immunity and the more infectious BA.2 variant of omicron.

Though the number of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the U.S. have fallen significantly in recent weeks, Dr. John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert at the University of California at Berkeley, told Forbes the situation in Europe could presage another coronavirus wave in the U.S.

What happens in Europe, and especially in the U.K., tends to happen in the U.S. with a “few weeks lag,” Swartzberg explained, adding that “there’s every reason to think this pattern will hold for the immediate future.”

Even as cases soared, a growing number of European countries—including the U.K., Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland—have scrapped almost all Covid restrictions under plans to live with the virus. Officials across the region have repeatedly cited the availability of vaccines and treatments, and lower rates of serious illness with omicron, when justifying the decision.

Austria even dropped its controversial law requiring compulsory vaccination for all adults, with its minister in charge of constitutional affairs saying the mandate was no longer “proportionate” with the disease. The figures across Europe are likely just the “tip of the iceberg,” warned World Health Organization chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Ordinarily, disease surveillance usually misses a large number of Covid cases and there are differences in how each nation records its Covid deaths and hospital admissions. This is made worse by the fact that many countries are also taking steps to dismantle the testing infrastructure used to keep tabs on the pandemic at the same time as lifting restrictions, a move experts warn hampers the ability to detect new variants.

There are early signs Covid-19 rates may already be rising across the U.S., according to the CDC’s monitoring of wastewater sewage. As the genetic material of the virus that causes Covid-19 can be detected in sewage, wastewater surveillance has been used as an early warning system to help predict new outbreaks. Coronavirus rates have risen at 38% of the hundreds of wastewater sampling sites tracked by the CDC over the last two weeks.

When it comes to Covid, the United States specializes in denialism,” wrote Dr. Eric Topol, the founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, in the Guardian. It has denied human-to-human transmission of the virus when the first cases were publicized in China, denied the virus is airborne and denied the need for boosters, Topol said.

But one denial in particular now one stands out, Topol said: learning from other countries. “The United Kingdom and Europe have provided five unmistakable warnings to America that a new surge was occurring. Within weeks, each time, the United States experienced a new wave, some not as severe (such as with the Alpha variant), some worse (Delta and Omicron variants).

From this Covid track record over two years, it is palpable: what happens in the U.K. and Europe doesn’t stay in the UK and Europe.” The current surge in the U.K. and Europe “is the sixth warning… to the United States,” Topol said.

 

I am a London-based reporter for Forbes covering breaking news. Previously, I have worked as a reporter for a specialist legal publication covering big data and

Source: A New Covid Wave Is Spreading In Europe — Here’s Why The U.S. Should Pay Attention

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Critics:

Experts told The Post that the BA.2 subvariant — essentially the original Omicron variant’s more contagious cousin — has fueled the recent surge in cases and hospitalizations in Europe.

In a separate tweet, Topol wrote that the rollback of pandemic restrictions, along with a natural waning of the immunity afforded by vaccines, had enabled the new subvariant to spread widely.

While the BA.2 subvariant appears to be 1.5 times as infectious as the previous iteration of the Omicron variant, according to early data, there’s no evidence indicating the new version causes more severe disease than its predecessors.

Some reports have described BA.2 as harder to track than BA.1. Scientists tracked the spread of the original Omicron variant by looking for a specific genetic mutation, which BA.2 lacks.

The subvariant will still cause someone to test positive for COVID-19 on a PCR test, but it’ll take extra genetic analysis for researchers to connect new cases to the Omicron lineage.

More contents:

‘Stealth’ Omicron Subvariant Is Likely Behind A Surge In Cases And Hospitalizations In The U.K.

Antigenic evolution will lead to new SARS-CoV-2 variants with unpredictable severity

Once again, America is in denial about signs of a fresh Covid wave

‘Stealth’ Omicron Subvariant Is Likely Behind A Surge In Cases And Hospitalizations In The U.K. (Forbes)

Antigenic evolution will lead to new SARS-CoV-2 variants with unpredictable severity (Nature)

Once again, America is in denial about signs of a fresh Covid wave

 
 
 
 

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How Omicron Upended What We Thought We Knew About Natural Immunity

After dizzily swelling for weeks, COVID-19 cases seem to be leveling off in New York and Chicago. In the greater Boston area, the amount of SARS-CoV-2 found in wastewater is going down as quickly as it had gone up. The hard part isn’t over yet, but the omicron wave is starting to break and roll back out to sea. Soon we’ll see if any treasures are left behind in the tide pool.

Between Dec. 1 and Jan. 17, at least 18 million Americans contracted COVID. Data suggests that the vast majority of those cases were in unvaccinated people, but plenty of people who got their primary series of the vaccine also caught the immunity-evading omicron variant. By the time this wave is over, American bodies will know this virus like never before. But will the survivors gain anything from having had the disease? After all, there will be more variants in the future. Could the hard-earned immunity we’ve gained from omicron help fight them off? Could this wave be the last?

On Monday, White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said it’s too soon to answer these questions. Scientists we spoke to agreed. But they also said the reason these questions were so difficult to answer was because of an issue that hasn’t always gotten much attention in the public sphere:

The immunity provided by a COVID infection itself. Scientists have learned a lot about this “natural immunity” since the pandemic began. But omicron has upended many of those expectations, and the more we learn about this variant, the less clear it is what we should expect for the future of the virus and our immunity to it.

Scientists have been studying infection-induced immunity since COVID first emerged. In fact, it was the only kind of immunity anyone could really study at that point, said John Moore, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Cornell University’s Weill Cornell Medical College. And while there are now many more studies on vaccine-induced immunity thanks to clinical trials and easily trackable vaccinated populations like medical staff, there’s a lot that can be said about natural immunity, pre-omicron, with a reasonable amount of certainty.

One important takeaway from all that pre-omicron research: Infection-induced immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are pretty similar. On the whole, studies found that the efficacy of infection-induced immunity was about the same as what you’d get from a two-dose mRNA vaccine, and sometimes higher.

For example, research from the U.K., in which a few hundred thousand participants were followed in a large-scale longitudinal survey, found that prior to May 16, having had two doses of the vaccine (regardless of the type) reduced the risk of testing positive by 79 percent, while being unvaccinated and having had a previous infection reduced the risk by 65 percent. After the delta variant became dominant,1 vaccination became less effective, reducing the risk by 67 percent, while a previous infection reduced the risk by 71 percent.

Likewise, both kinds of immunity seemed to wane over time — though Moore said infection-induced immunity might take longer to decline because a vaccination happens nearly all at once, while an infection takes longer to go through a process of growing, declining and finally being cleared from the body. “But it’s also not radically different [from antibody titers to vaccination]. It’s not measured in years, but months,” he said.

This is why some countries, including the member states of the European Union, treat documented recovery from COVID-19 as functionally the same as vaccination in their “vaccine passport” systems.

Still, vaccine-induced immunity is a better choice, not because it produces a stronger immunity, but because it enables you to get the immunity without the side effects and risks that come along with illness — like a greater risk of stillbirth if you’re pregnant, or long COVID, hospitalization and death in general.

The pre-omicron research also indicated another downside to natural immunity: namely, that it can be more variable. All immunity differs from person to person and holds up better against some variants than others. But infection-induced immunity can also be more or less effective depending on how severe your case of COVID was, explained John Dennehy, a professor of biology at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center.

Since the earliest studies, scientists have found evidence that more severe illnesses produce a higher antibody response, while mild cases end up producing much less.

Then came omicron. The public desire for information on omicron is moving faster than science can produce, but we do know that this variant escapes natural immunity as easily as it does vaccine immunity. Omicron carries a lot of mutations that make it able to evade antibodies — and it doesn’t really matter how you got those antibodies in the first place, said Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.

Beyond that, the picture is murky. For example, we know milder infections have, with past strains, produced less effective immunity. If a hallmark of omicron is milder infections — and that’s the main reason why there’s so much chatter that it might just be better to get this variant and get some natural immunity — how much immunity can anyone really expect to come out of those mild infections with?

“We’re going to know for sure in a few weeks because a ton of preprint is coming out about it, but I don’t know the answer today,” Moore said. It’s information journalists can come back and update you on later, but it makes informed speculation hard now. (Meanwhile, keep an eye on our COVID-19 research tracker.)

The same holds true when you start trying to parse out what vaccinated people can expect from a breakthrough case of omicron. The combination of vaccine and infection-induced immunity has been shown to produce a hybrid that is probably more effective than either type alone — but, again, that research came from pre-omicron studies. Is a breakthrough case as good as a booster?

If you’re going to get a booster after you’ve had a breakthrough case, how long should you wait? Those are questions scientists don’t have the answers to yet, partly because there’s no clear through line of what to expect once you’re dealing with omicron.

“Maybe your readers are right in being confused, because we don’t really know how long-lasting the immunity you get from omicron will be,” said David Thomas, the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Which brings us to the biggest question of all: Will the many infections, reinfections and breakthrough infections associated with omicron maybe — finally — put us in a better position for a well-protected, safer society? Maybe even a society that doesn’t have any more big waves crashing on its head?

Theoretically, yes, Klausner told me. And he’s optimistic that it will. Thomas and Dennehy, on the other hand, were more cautious. After all, Dennehy pointed out, there’s no guarantee that future strains will be related to omicron. If omicron is different enough from delta that it evades immunity from that previous variant, what happens if a future variant comes along that’s evolved from delta and not omicron? It’s not unreasonable to expect a whole new wave.

And what does Moore think? He was just ready to take a pause from speculation and get some data before anyone starts making decisions for themselves or for society. “I’m fed up with winging answers to reporters like yourself, because I don’t know the answer,” he said. “None of us know for sure.”

Maggie Koerth

By:

Maggie Koerth is a senior science writer for FiveThirtyEight.

Source: How Omicron Upended What We Thought We Knew About Natural Immunity | FiveThirtyEight

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