ALPHA-BETA-GAMMA-DELTA-??

illustration by CDC - reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
CDC – ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

Coronavirus – Covid-19

I made a conscious decision that I wasn’t going to post about the pandemic. Turn on the radio or the tv and you get updates about Covid-19. It’s the first thing you see on social media. Driving down the street there is a huge sign about a vaccine clinic. I get emails daily about it. I didn’t think I had anything to add to that. I thought reading about something other than the pandemic that people must deal with would be more beneficial.

However, finding this of interest, I’m posting some information about the Coronavirus variants.

This is taken straight from the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION’s (WHO) website:

 Latest versions: Our World In Data

All viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, change over time. Most changes have little to no impact on the virus’ properties. However, some changes may affect the virus’s properties, such as how easily it spreads, the associated disease severity, or the performance of vaccines, therapeutic medicines, diagnostic tools, or other public health and social measures.

WHO, in collaboration with partners, expert networks, national authorities, institutions and researchers have been monitoring and assessing the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 since January 2020. During late 2020, the emergence of variants that posed an increased risk to global public health prompted the characterization of specific Variants of Interest (VOIs) and Variants of Concern (VOCs), in order to prioritize global monitoring and research, and ultimately to inform the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Variants of Concern (VOC)

Working definition:

A SARS-CoV-2 variant that meets the definition of a VOI (see below) and, through a comparative assessment, has been demonstrated to be associated with one or more of the following changes at a degree of global public health significance

  • Increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology; OR
  • Increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation; OR
  • Decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines,
  • therapeutics.  

Currently designated Variants of Concern:

WHO label Pango  
lineages
GISAID cladeNextstrain  
clade 
Additional amino acid changes monitored*Earliest documented  
samples 
Date of designation 
Alpha B.1.1.7 GRY20I (V1) +S:484K
+S:452R
United Kingdom,  
Sep-2020 
18-Dec-2020
Beta B.1.351 
B.1.351.2
B.1.351.3
GH/501Y.V2 20H (V2)+S:L18FSouth Africa,  
May-2020 
18-Dec-2020
Gamma P.1 
P.1.1
P.1.2
P.1.4
P.1.6
P.1.7
GR/501Y.V3 20J (V3)+S:681HBrazil,  
Nov-2020 
11-Jan-2021
Delta B.1.617.2
AY.1
AY.2AY.3
AY.3.1
G/478K.V1 21A+S:417NIndia,  
Oct-2020 

Variants of Interest (VOI)

Working definition:

A SARS-CoV-2 variant : with genetic changes that are predicted or known to affect virus characteristics such as transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape, diagnostic or therapeutic escape; AND 

Identified to cause significant community transmission or multiple COVID-19 clusters, in multiple countries with increasing relative prevalence alongside increasing number of cases over time, or other apparent epidemiological impacts to suggest an emerging risk to global public health.”  

Currently designated Variants of Interest:

WHO label Pango  
lineages
GISAID cladeNextstrain  
clade 
Earliest documented  
samples 
Date of designation 
Eta B.1.525 G/484K.V3 21DMultiple countries, 
Dec-2020 
17-Mar-2021 
Iota B.1.526  GH/253G.V121F United States of America,  
Nov-2020 
24-Mar-2021 
Kappa B.1.617.1  G/452R.V3 21B  India,  
Oct-2020  
4-Apr-2021 
LambdaC.37GR/452Q.V121GPeru, Dec-2020

Alerts for Further Monitoring

Working definition 

A SARS-CoV-2 variant with genetic changes that are suspected to affect virus characteristics with some indication that it may pose a future risk, but evidence of phenotypic or epidemiological impact is currently unclear, requiring enhanced monitoring and repeat assessment pending new evidence.  

Note: It is expected that our understanding of the impacts of these variants may fast evolve, and designated Alerts for Further Monitoring may be readily added/removed; therefore, WHO labels will not be assigned at this time. Former VOIs/VOCs may, however, be monitored for an extended period under this category, and will maintain their assigned WHO label until further notice.” 

Currently designated Alerts for Further Monitoring:

Pango  
lineages 
GISAID cladeNextstrain  
clade 
Earliest documented  
samples 
Date of designation 
B.1.427
B.1.429*
GH/452R.V1  21CUnited States of America, 
Mar-2020 
VOI: 5-Mar-2021 
Alert: 6-Jul-2021
R.1GRMultiple countries,Jan-2021 07-Apr-2021
B.1.466.2 GHIndonesia,
Nov-2020
28-Apr-2021 
B.1.621
B.1.621.1
GH  21H Colombia,
Jan-2021
26-May-2021
B.1.1.318GRMultiple countries,
Jan-2021
02-Jun-2021
B.1.1.519GR20B/S.732AMultiple countries,
Nov-2020
02-Jun-2021
C.36.3C.36.3.1GRMultiple countries,
Jan-2021
16-Jun-2021
B.1.214.2GMultiple countries, Nov-202030-Jun-2021
B.1.1.523GRMultiple countries, May-202014-July-2021
B.1.619
B.1.619.1
G20A/S.126AMultiple countries, May-202014-July-2021
B.1.620GMultiple countries, November 202014-July-2021

For further information on Covid-19 and the actions taken by WHO and Member States for potential Variants of Concern(VOC) and Variants of Interest(VOI) as well as reclassifying VOIs/VOCs please go to the WHO site.

At this moment, in Canada all government sectors, hospitals, health care, any crown corporations and transportation (including transport and leisure) will have to be fully vaccinated. For education, depending on the province, Ontario colleges and universities you must be vaccinated to be on campus. Other provinces like Saskatchewan have started to follow suite.

Before the Covid pandemic if you wanted to travel to certain countries you had to provide proof of vaccine for certain infectious diseases such as yellow fever, meningococcal meningitis and polio. Ebola vaccines and malaria vaccines are in development. We are just adding another to the list.   

 I am fully vaccinated, so is my family, but my 2-year-old grandson unfortunately cannot be yet.  That is OUR choice.  If you choose NOT to be vaccinated that is YOUR choice but you also must live with any and all consequences as we do. Unfortunately, the people who are unvaccinated have fueled the 4th wave of the pandemic. The majority of the vaccinated this time who have contracted covid are older, have health problems or/and are immuno-compromised.  It was NOT their choice.

The number of infections are on the rise again. Wear a mask, wash your hands often and maintain social distance when out in public. Please stay safe. We will get through this.

About Donna

I came from a financial background including banking, insurance and real estate. I am an advocate for people taking there health into their own hands. That includes mental, physical and spiritual health. I am also a mother and grandmother (babcia) to a delightful, rambunctious, curious, beautiful, precious....(I can go on for ever) little boy.. who melts my heart every day.
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