Prof. Cyril Cohen: “It is estimated that the new strain has split in vaccine.suppressed or AIDS patients”

“The omicron split from the previous strains, and it was a long process,” the immune system expert from Bar Ilan University tells Ynet. “In a rough estimate, it seems to have started brewing a year ago.” How is the health care system in DRAF prepared for the new variant, and how much are worried about it in Europe?

“The omicron is the variant with the most mutations we have seen so far, which is why it bothers us so much,” Prof. Cyril Cohen, an immune system expert at Bar Ilan University, told Ynet today about the new strain of corona virus.

This morning, Dr. Sharon Elrai-Price, head of the public health services at the Ministry of Health, said in the Knesset that the variant developed in mid-October, apparently. Prof. Cohen believes that about two months ago it probably developed in its current state, with many mutations, Roughly, this thing seems to have started brewing in Africa a year ago, “he said.” We see how it has split from the other varieties we know – beta, delta, alpha – and it has been a long process. ”

Prof. Cohen added that it is estimated that this strain has split in people with immunosuppressed or AIDS patients. “We do not know the effect of many mutations together, so we are taking extra care – not only in Israel, but all over the world,” he said.

Prof. Cohen was asked to explain what a large amount of mutations means, saying: “In the alpha and delta strains there were ten to 20 mutations in the spike protein – the protein that allows the virus to infect our cells. This virus has 32 mutations in the spike. Vaccination with mRNA technology allows the human body to learn about this protein , But in the vaccine we give the original strain, so that the body will have a harder time recognizing new variants with a lot of mutations. With the alpha and delta there were not many changes, and we saw that the vaccines work. Now the question is, To evade some of the immune response, and that should definitely bother us.”

Asked if this variant could lead to herd immunity and the elimination of the virus, he replied: “Hanukkah miracle? I would not build on it. We do not currently have the ability to know the severity this virus can cause. The people infected so far are mostly students in South Africa, a group that does not represent “The vulnerable populations. We are waiting to see what the clinical picture of such a variant will be in people who are prone to severe symptoms.”

Prof. Cohen also referred to the connection between the development of the new variants and the extent of immunization in the countries where they develop. “This is one of the most important points,” he said. “We can give in Israel and in industrialized countries even ten doses of vaccine, but if we do not make sure that most of the world is vaccinated, variants will continue to develop. Immunity. The best protection against the variants is the vaccines, without a doubt. ”

Another interviewee at the Ynet studio today was Dr. Kim Pyton, an expert in infectious diseases from South Africa, who spoke about the disease state in the country following the discovery of the new variant. “Our surveillance teams are trying to collect data from the infected people,” she said. Serious.”

By Editor

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