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Study: Mutation causes coronavirus strain in U.S. and Europe to be 10x more infectious than original form

Study: Mutation causes coronavirus strain in U.S. and Europe to be 10x more infectious than original form

As scientists indicate that the mutation fails to make the virus more deadly, the press complains that people are losing their fear of the pathogen.

CDC Image https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/images/2019-coronavirus.png

In the wake of press dramatically reporting that the number of new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus are “surging,” investigators at a California institution may have made a determination that sheds new light on just how contagious the virus is.

Researchers have been diligently studying the Wuhan coronavirus since it first appeared in China in January. Recently, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have now ascertained that the strains spreading so quickly in Europe and the U.S. have a mutated protein on the outer surface of the viral cell, making them ten times more infectious than the strain that originally was identified in China.

The mutation does not appear to make the virus any more deadly than it already is, but it does appear to make it significantly more contagious. The original strain in China is dubbed D614, while the one found in the UK, Italy and North America by May is dubbed G614.

The S “spike” protein is found on the surface of the virus and is used to gain entry to cells, something like a key in a lock. But the original strain, D614, often broke off when it was attempting to bind to ACE2 receptors in people’s airways. The mutated version, G614, is less likely to break off, allowing it to more easily make its way into cells.

ACE2 receptors are molecules on the surface of cells found throughout the body, but in particularly high concentrations in the lungs, although they are found in various organs, including the pancreas and testes. ACE2 receptors vary in concentrations and are also linked to high blood pressure.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the go-to-expert when the media wants to dramatize disease findings, addressed this development in a recent interview with the The Journal of the American Medical Association.

He said it is possible this strain carries a higher viral load in the respiratory system, thereby making human transmission more likely.

“The data is showing there’s a single mutation that makes the virus be able to replicate better and maybe have high viral loads,” Fauci said.

“It just seems that the virus replicates better and may be more transmissible,” he continued.

The study, which was released by researchers affiliated with the Sheffield COVID-19 Genomics Group, stated Thursday that the new strain “has become the most prevalent form in the global pandemic.”

“The shift occurred even in local epidemics where the original [strain of the virus] D614 form was well established prior to the introduction of the G614 variant,” the scientists wrote in their abstract, referring to the strain of coronavirus thought to have originated in Wuhan, China.

People tend to be most afraid of the unknown. Given how infectious this virus is, there is a good chance most of us know at least one person who has been infected and survived. This is bad news for the American media, who hoped to ride the pandemic panic wave until November.

In fact, the Los Angeles Times is now complaining that people are losing their fear of the pathogen.

“People are not willing to be governed anymore in that regard,” health officer Dr. Gail Newel said as the county rescinded its beach closure order last week.

This is the problem California officials now face as they deal with a major surge in coronavirus cases tied to business reopenings, social gatherings and other factors, and hospitals are becoming increasingly crowded. As the public has become more accustomed to the pandemic, Californians have seemingly become less afraid of the highly contagious virus, even though it’s no less infectious than it was in the winter.

It appears that Americans are beginning to make data-driven instead of fear-driven decisions regarding their approach to the Wuhan Coronavirus. I am equally sure the media is going to miss its captive audience.

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Comments

The fall is skying ,the fall is skying.

assemblerhead | July 5, 2020 at 12:14 pm

Had to go do the laundry this weekend. Refused to wear a mask. Had a ‘woke scold’ yammer at me.

Don’t care if it is required. It is MEDICALLY USELESS.

Between 95% to 98% of the businesses were I live DO NOT CARE.

The ‘surge of infections’ is due to a change in how the counts are made. 100% BS.

You do realize that the Left wants to keep this HOAX going on through November, don’t you?

    Chicklet in reply to assemblerhead. | July 5, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    The surge in infections is real. As a physician who follows this for a living, it’s real.

    What our fear-porn media won’t mention is the surge is insignificant. Nearly all of the new positive test results are in ‘working age’ Americans. Here in FL they comprise 20% of the positive tests but less than 1% of the deaths. In protest-happy California, age 18-49 racks up 48% of the positive tests, 6% of the deaths.

    These days we are told to get tested before returning to work. We see ‘free, anonymous’ testing sites everywhere so why not? Healthcare employees are told to test twice a week, but insurance won’t pay for that. So you have a big spike in positive tests in a group of people who will likely never get sick. They certainly won’t fill up the local hospital, even if they did, won’t end up in the ICU on a ventilator.

    And they’ll go about their business, unaware their test results are being used by evil ‘journalists’ to keep the country in an absolute panic. Public health officials watch the hospital census (declining every week everywhere) and the death rate (a fraction of what it was), the media used to watch this when the numbers were more scary. So let’s go focus on some new absurd statistic to keep ’em at home! Every State website has these numbers, do your part to get them out into the sunlight.

      Liz in reply to Chicklet. | July 5, 2020 at 1:37 pm

      In OK, the 18-49 age group account for 58% of the cases and 4% of the deaths. Hospitalization is increasing a bit, but there is still sufficient vacancy in the ICU & hospital beds.

      And, as long as the elective surgery is restarting, I don’t mind having the hospitals test everyone coming into the facility. Better to identify and isolate the C19 cases than commingling them with the other patients.

      cktheman in reply to Chicklet. | July 5, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      I do believe that in addition to this, the virus has weakened as well – there are a couple of studies (and a couple more pending) that do seem to do more than just suggest it.

      The “experts” and the “media” have lashed out and buried the studies of course.

      cktheman in reply to Chicklet. | July 5, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      Oh, and…

      There’s probably a lot of cross-immunity going on as well (virus isn’t so “novel” after all). There are a number of studies coming out on this as well from Europe – mostly buried on this side of the Atlantic…

        Joe-dallas in reply to cktheman. | July 6, 2020 at 8:20 am

        see the attached article – strong indication of cross immunity

        https://archive.is/8rLzi#selection-203.0-203.35

          cktheman in reply to Joe-dallas. | July 6, 2020 at 8:07 pm

          Yes, excellent, and satisfactorily explains the entire thing. It will gain no traction, and remain buried as t doesn’t fit the narrative. The lack of deaths, shortly, will be inescapable, and the second wave panic porn can begin in earnest.

          cktheman in reply to Joe-dallas. | July 6, 2020 at 8:07 pm

          Yes, excellent, and satisfactorily explains the entire thing. It will gain no traction, and remain buried as t doesn’t fit the narrative. The lack of deaths, shortly, will be inescapable, and the second wave panic porn can begin in earnest.

      beagleEar in reply to Chicklet. | July 5, 2020 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks. First hand observation plus book knowin’ plus practical experience = worth my attention.

      krb in reply to Chicklet. | July 5, 2020 at 7:30 pm

      I’m a physician in CA. The local hospitals report the cases to on-staff physicians. There has been a very small increase in cases, and an enormous increase in number of tests. Meaning – the % positive in tests performed is plummeting. And of course the important metric is NOT number of cases. It’s number of sick (ie ICU) cases, intubations, and deaths, which is NOT increasing (meaning, all the hospitals have a few patients, none of them have anywhere near overwhelming numbers, and none of them is at any risk of running out of space, ICU beds, or ventilators).

      Another important point is for the most part young people or healthy people don’t get ill from this. Flulike symptoms yes. Death, for the most part, no. The same people die from this as from the flu as from heart attacks – the elderly and the ill.

      Now that we can look back on data, this whole thing has been blown out of proportion. Are cases going up? Sure. A bit. Are people dying more? Not really. Now look to see the Chicken Little media NOT reporting on how the deaths are (no dramatic increase) but the cases. That is the hint I think that this is a political virus, not a medical virus. Keep the news bad until the election. The data do not support bad news.

        “this is a political virus, not a medical virus” –perfectly stated!

        Joe-dallas in reply to krb. | July 6, 2020 at 8:23 am

        Question for Doc KrB – In Texas there has been surge in number of ICU bed usage. Any indication of whether this would be due to greater number of sick patients needing ICU or earlier admission of less sick patients as a precaution?

      Covid 19 is the flu. It is not the plague.

      The flu kills, but fascism and communism kill more.

      randian in reply to Chicklet. | July 6, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      Despite the insignificance of the surge a number of FL counties have instituted “emergency” mask and lockdown orders. We can’t go anywhere without a mask and businesses like Publix have people at the door enforcing it. It’s really annoying.

    Joe-dallas in reply to assemblerhead. | July 5, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    masks do help when you are in an environment with the risk of transmission is moderate to high.

    the problem is the requirement to wear the mask in environments where the risk of transmission is low. If the risk of transmission is 0.001% which is most environments, then reduction in risk brings it down to 0.0007%

    beagleEar in reply to assemblerhead. | July 5, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    There is enough stress and conflict right now. Personally, I slap on a mask in situations where it would pizz of or just annoy others if I didn’t. The cost to me is a minor discomfort, and a plain surgical mask instead of the N95 I had around for handyman tasks would cut the discomfort to trivial.

    If you are out it the sticks where the pop density is very low, they aren’t needed, the virus won’t explode unless there are a) a few people who have it in the mix and b) large gatherings where it can find a breeding ground. You may live somewhere without a) and b), but that’s a small part of the US population.

    Masks don’t work? For the purpose of making the virus’s job much harder, they do. The virus rides on mist in the breath, a bare virus doesn’t travel, and with no encasing clump of junk, it’s degraded pretty fast by oxygen in the air.
    Every surgeon worldwide wears one of these, as does everyone else in the OR, to protect the person being operated on.

    The virus ain’t no hoax. It more than decimated nursing homes in Italy and NY and merely trimmed the population in others. Most of those people were over 75 and had other conditions, but many had 5 or 10 years left. It’s also whacked doctors, nurses and even ophthalmologists, you can’t be half dead and continue those jobs. It’s not the doomsday virus – over half just shrug if off, another quarter have an uncomfortable week. But a not-trivial number have complications +/or a slow recovering, with loss of smell, taste, fatigue, and reduced lung function for months afterwards.

    Panic isn’t patriotic nor is it conservative. Neither is blowing stuff of, hoo cares, not my problem and ‘you can’t tell ME what to do!!’ Maybe where you are those masks really are pointless, but in and near population centers it ain’t that way.

      randian in reply to beagleEar. | July 6, 2020 at 3:41 pm

      What distinguishes a nursing home from, say, a grocery store? A nursing home is a small enclosed environment ideal for transmission. A grocery store is large and basically open air, and it’s already been established than open-air transmission of covid-19 is negligible. That’s why masks are irrelevant except in places like nursing homes, where enclosed spaces with vulnerable populations are. Even then, why weren’t masks required before in nursing homes to stop the numerous other diseases the elderly are vulnerable to?

Typically I’m not paranoid, but I read this and wondered, why would this mutation appear here? What is the difference between a random mutation and a deliberate engineered ‘mutation’?

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Cogsys. | July 5, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Other regions of the world don’t have a very important election coming up in November.

    That down vote may have been a fat-fingered attempt at . Sorry.

    Chicklet in reply to Cogsys. | July 5, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    The good news is it probably doesn’t matter. If more of us are infected with a virus that doesn’t really do much unless you are elderly with two or more unmanaged serious chronic conditions (and/or reside in a nursing home) it doesn’t matter.

    If there is such a thing as herd immunity and we’re all positive, it might make this virus even more insignificant. The CDC tracks ‘plain old’ influenza, it mutates as it follows the jet stream around the globe every year, Fauci never cared about that.

    IMO the publicity about the virus is much more dangerous to us all than the virus itself.

      beagleEar in reply to Chicklet. | July 5, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      I can’t get a good idea of the rate of complications in the general population from anything I’ve read in the general media. There are many individual scare stories, of the form
      omg it scarred my lungs. lost sense of smell! !months of fatigue and weakness! ^blood clots^
      I haven’t seen frogs, boils and locusts cited, at least not yet.
      None of those reports state how common those effects are compared to previously know respiratory virus. Viral illnesses do have a rate of after-effects, eg there are many who catch mono and are affected from months.

      One media wail I recall was their citing the virus tendency to cause short filaments to sprout from infected cells, they quoted a doc who said (supposedly) “I’ve never seen a virus do this in my 25 years in medicine”
      I then clicked over to a somewhat famous blog written by a real scientist who develops drugs for a living. It turns out that the effect is common and well known.

        healthguyfsu in reply to beagleEar. | July 5, 2020 at 4:58 pm

        Many doctors know surprisingly little about the basic virology of what they treat. That’s someone else’s job and the general public does not seem to grasp that. They hear doctor and think of a know-all wizard of Oz (but they revere him like the citizens of Oz).

          Firewatch in reply to healthguyfsu. | July 6, 2020 at 10:12 am

          The medical community has egg on it’s face about how they pushed this hoax. I’m not even sure I trust my own doctor anymore when he comes into the exam room wearing one of those stupid masks.

        gospace in reply to beagleEar. | July 5, 2020 at 5:58 pm

        The actual CDC chart gives you a good idea of numbers- with all the co-mordities. Click on table 4 for those.
        https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm

          gospace in reply to gospace. | July 5, 2020 at 6:04 pm

          Sure would be nice if we had a control group of actually known to be healthy young people to see if they’re dying of it. Oh, wait! We do! And it’s not a small group. Can’t join the military if you’re unhealthy with underlying conditions. Of the 1.3 million active duty personnel, almost 50% are <25. less than 01% over 40; not sure of the age breakdown of reserve and national guard forces. 3 total deaths as of 1 July, 1 reserve, one NG, 1 active duty- 41 year old AOC Thacker from the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Either all 3 had underlying issues, or they were statistical anomalies. Chart here:
          https://www.airforcemag.com/snapshot-dod-and-covid-19/

          gospace in reply to gospace. | July 5, 2020 at 6:09 pm

          Florida Today did an article back in May of teh 25 Floridians under age 40 who died of covid- of 1489 then deaths. Interestingly, they said the Florida Department of Health put roadblocks in place to they and keep them from the information they wanted. Money quote:

          Of the 25 deaths, 17 were men and eight were women. Most suffered from asthma, chronic bronchitis, morbid obesity and hypertension — or some combination of all the above.

          link:
          https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/2020/05/18/coronavirus-how-youngest-25-florida-died-covid-19/5196995002/

          gospace in reply to gospace. | July 5, 2020 at 6:20 pm

          Wikipedia if you look it up has reasonably accurate information on the Diamond Princess and USS Theodore Roosevelt numbers. Ships are ideal environments for virus spreading. Anyone who’s ever served on one (me) can attest to that. So another question is- does maskwear by the general public actually do any good? The overwhelming amount of evidence says >b>NO! one link for that:
          spectator.us/face-masks-work-note-evidence/

          Talked to my son in Colorado Springs today. He said if my better half and I came out- considering our ages- wearing a mask to walk around would probably result in us passing out. Any mask and you’re rebreathing CO2. Colorado Springs and Denver are over one mile high- less oxygen pressure (less pressure overall, but oxygen is what us humans need….). He was out shopping earlier and saw one set of Karens yelling at a obviously old guy who you could visibly see had the pasty skin for someone with breathing problems. He unloaded on them- calling them Nazi scum, etc., and started approaching them. They backed off- way off- and no one else intervened on their behalf….

          I just tell the idiots who approach me “I’m 65- it interferes with my breathing….” No one’s kept up after that.

          gospace in reply to gospace. | July 5, 2020 at 6:46 pm

          I forgot- numbrs I worked up from the official CDC numbers in Table 4 of the link above. Of all ages- 110,491 covid deaths. 920 deaths from birth to 34. 8.3% of all covid deaths. That’s 8.3% of covid deaths from about 41% of the US population. And- co-morbidities listed- 408 with influenza and/or pneumonia. Not quite half. 74 hypertensive, 97 with sepsis, 31 with malignant neoplasms, 128 diabetes, 186 obesity, and several others listed. In other words, unhealthy people died of it. Let’s take a look at the other end of the age spectrum- 85+, representing less than 2% of the population. 36,656 deaths 33.2% of the deaths. So to sum up, being old and unhealthy, young and unhealthy, or middle aged and unhealthy, vastly increases your chances of dying from covid should you get it.

        Anonamom in reply to beagleEar. | July 6, 2020 at 10:24 am

        beagleEar, if you’re interested in the disease itself, its complications, and its treatments, I would suggest that you check out this site: https://emcrit.org/ibcc/COVID19/ . I stumbled on it early on and found it a reliable source of what is going on in the hospitals (so it’s discussing treatment of the hard cases.) It updated regularly, but only the most recent update is captured, so all the earlier updates are lost. Watching the updates in real time was very interesting, because it showed how quickly (and well) our hospitalists learned to deal with the disease. What I’ve gotten out of it:

        *This is certainly not apocalyptic, but it’s not a cold or the flu, either.
        *People with ANY inflammatory issues (not just old people or the chronically ill) need to be very, very careful.
        *Our medical system (at least in larger population centers) is KICK @SS good. I really, really hope that we don’t destroy it by injecting MORE government into it.

    beagleEar in reply to Cogsys. | July 5, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Look at how the virus reproduces, then look at how fast and how many. One single infected person generates more Wuhan virus particles then the entire human population of the Earth. Now consider that the virus isn’t alive, it has no repair mechanisms and its reproduction involves a certain amount of chance. Virus are good at mutating, it’s evolution in action. Fortunately, this one doesn’t mutate as fast or as far an an influenza.

I believe everything Fauci says – even if he admits he lied about it.

First of all, the number if cases are far higher than the infection rate. almost all the tests being done are being done on people who asymptomatic [they have no symptoms of the disease] and the test most commonly used only detects the presence of viral material in the nasal passages. All this does is indicate exposure to the virus, not infection. Additional serum testing has to be done to determine if an active infection is present and the accuracy of that test is showing signs of having a high inaccuracy rate.

Second is the way COVID cases are being classified. As mentioned above all exposures, which are indicated by testing as being classified as COVID cases not COVID exposures. Several, if not many, state and local health agencies, in conjunction with CDC guidelines, are classifying people who have been in contact with an exposed person, even without corroborative resting, as being COVID cases. Even deaths, attributable to other medical conditions, are being classified as COVID deaths, if the patient tests positive for COVID exposure.

Now, here is the most telling indicator that COVID is largely a scam. Members of the medical profession [doctors, nurses, orderlies and even healthcare facility workers, except those in nursing homes] are NOT being tested for COVID exposure. The reason? Because if any of these personnel test positive for exposure, they have to self quarantine for 14 days, along with all coworkers they have been in contact with, per CDC guidelines. This would effectively shutdown many medical care facilities and require testing of every employee weekly, whether any test positive or not.

All a scam.

    CorkyAgain in reply to Mac45. | July 5, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    In many places on the web I’ve seen the claim that the tests actually don’t detect the presence of viral material, but only of antibodies associated with an infection. Furthermore, the antibodies in question are the same ones associated with the common cold.

    True or false?

    txvet2 in reply to Mac45. | July 5, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    I don’t know about elsewhere, but all of the employees at my wellness clinic are regularly tested, and several have eventually tested positive – which is why they’re now really pushing “tele-medicine”.

      Mac45 in reply to txvet2. | July 5, 2020 at 9:39 pm

      I wouldn’t be to sure of that. How often are the members of the medical staff actually tested?

      In order to be effective, a person will have to be tested weekly until a positive result occurs. Then, after the 14 day quarantine, the person has to be tested again. If negative, the testing has to continue weekly. As patients who have been symptomatic apparently relapse, the testing has to continue.

      Now, should a member of the staff test positive for COVID, the entire operation has to be suspended until all the employees can be tested and their tests return as negative. Also, all of the patients of the facility, who came into contact with any of the employees, during the time the person who tested positive could have been infected, have to be contacted and have to self quarantine for 14 days or until they test negative for COVID exposure. Did that happen when staff tested positive?

      This is all possible. But, did it really happen?

Albigensian | July 5, 2020 at 2:41 pm

The evidence for this mutation is not based so much on the infection rate as on genetic analysis of the virus: it has changed in ways that can be expected to make it more infectious.

I don’t know why anyone would be surprised at this; after all, the virus has reproduced explosively, and Darwinian adaptive evolution is to be expected. Once such a mutation appears (and RNA viruses are not known for their genetic stability) it will out-compete its less infectious variant until it replaces essentially all of it.

The good news is that the genome seems similar enough that had a vaccine existed for the prior virus it would almost certainly work for this new mutation as well.

It’s certainly true that some are promoting virus hysteria in order to empty the taxpayers wallet for their preferred political aims, while others wish to use the virus as an excuse to establish unconstitutional restraints on our freedoms. BUT, that doesn’t mean the virus is not a serious and very real threat.

ACE2 receptors are .. found … in various organs, including the pancreas and testes.

Do NOT let Governor Inslee know about this OR he’ll mandate athletic supporters for men AND trannys.

In Arizona, there have been ~28,000 total deaths (all causes) in 2020 through the end of May, of which 918 (3.3%) were classified as due to COVID-19. Those 918 deaths occurred between March 15 and May 31. Just under another 900 deaths have been classified as due to COVID-19 in June but total death data for June has not yet been posted.

What I find interesting is that the total number of deaths was constant at ~5600 each month through the end of May. There has been no ‘excess death’ bump attributable to COVID-19 so far. We might see a small one in June’s data but that remains to be seen.

The number of deaths averaged 5,000 per month through all of 2019 so, so far, the number of deaths is up about 600 per month in 2020. However, that increase began in January and has held steady since. For the first 5 months of 2019, the total number of deaths was ~25,800. The higher numbers for the first 5 months of 2020 could be largely related to population growth, among other factors. It is certainly possible that some of the increase in total deaths starting in January is in fact attributable to unknown/unrecognized cases of COVID-19, but I wouldn’t expect those numbers to be substantial.

Thought a little perspective from a ‘COVID-19 Hotspot’ might be helpful.

If the Democrats gain any more power, they will use the manufactured crisis to tax the air we breathe

The fireworks in LA last night and the crowd at Diamond Lake in Michigan are examples of the youngsters in the country giving the finger to the health “experts” who have taken away our fun for far too long. Heck, the SE Florida counties CLOSED THE BEACHES for the holiday weekend because (young) people weren’t wearing masks and social distancing enough. Lol. Like the jerk of a RA at a dorm or a summer camp counselor getting ticked off because nobody is listening to them our political betters just have to react. I have news for them, THIS SHUTDOWN PANIC IS OVER, get used to it.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the go-to-expert when the media wants to dramatize disease findings, addressed this development in a recent interview with the The Journal of the American Medical Association.

This is odd.

In the US, serious scientific studies and medical developments are reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The JAMA is, well, something else.

Fauci is going on national television tomorrow to announce that everyone must change their underwear every day, upon pain of death.

Fauci further ordered that we all must wear our underwear on the outside so he can check.

(From Woody Allen’s “Bananas”. A prescient comedy, wasn’t it?)

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | July 5, 2020 at 11:06 pm

We Are The News
@wenewsnow

Prior to April 2020 Google’s search results produced troves of articles about how N95 & other masks do not protect against viruses & how prolonged use was dangerous to your health. Now search results say masks are safe & very effective. What changed? #FactsMatter #MasksOffAmerica

https://mobile.twitter.com/wenewsnow/status/1279114246845075457

More BS

I don’t think it’s surprising that this virus has mutated: That’s a feature, not a bug, of viruses. The good thing is that the more infectious a virus, the less-lethal it tends to be.

The Bride and I are on statins for high cholesterol and we regularly take turmeric as treatment for osteoarthritis. These are well known as mild antiinflammitories. Also, I’m on an ACE inhibitor for mild high blood pressure. I wonder if all this explains having very mild Wuhan symptoms back in February.
.

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