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The “Aeterna”, a new COVID variant, is making steady advancement to fuel a new wave.

 While the once-feared Omicron sub-variant BA fades into the sunset, one of its successors is gathering steam in the US. 


Aeterna de Variant BA..6 Followers of the Twitterverse-Slowly but steadily climbing the mountain of confusing variants In the United States, Aeterna accounted for about 1% of the population in the first week of October, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, in the first week of October, it was the second most commonly identified variant in the country, accounting for nearly 1% of cases. It was most common in the Midwest, where it accounted for just over a fifth of the cases ranked. 


BA.5, a close relative, remains dominant, accounting for about 79% of cases. But it will drop a bit as other versions move forward. 
Some experts, including experts from the University of Washington’s, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and Dr. Anthony Fauci, are predicting a next wave of infections that will swell in October and peak in late December or early January.

covid variant

Aeterna is one of a handful of options being studied for their potential to trigger such a wave. New variants increasingly evade both vaccines and society’s last effective treatment, monoclonal antibodies.

According to a preliminary, non-peer-reviewed study published last month, Aeterna avoids the protection offered by Evusheld, an intravenous treatment of laboratory-made antibodies given to people with weakened immune systems who are not adequately protected by vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration updated the drug’s packaging shortly thereafter, noting that it is 1,000 times less effective than Aeterna. 


“We said we have the tools against the virus,” Dr. Raj Rajnarayan, associate professor and research fellow at the New York Institute of Technology in Jonesboro, Ark., recently told Fortune. “The tools will be taken away.” 


Some of the Omicron eggs this fall also seem to be more contagious. In the UK Health Protection Agency’s technical release on October 7, Aeterna appears to have an almost 6 percent growth advantage over BA.5. 


But neither option seems to have stolen the show this fall. This may be due to the fact that variants become more and more similar as they accumulate similar mutations and combine with each other. This means that the fall-winter wave could be fueled by several variations that differ, but only slightly, experts say. 


“Ultimately, all the variants can look the same at the level of the pound,” where the virus binds to human cells to infect them, Rajnarayana said. Some researchers note that while the new Omicron boosters are designed to offer significant protection against serious illness and death, it is unclear how they will hold up against newer variants such as Aeterna. However, vaccines are still society’s best tool against a potentially deadly virus and are definitely worth getting. 


Aeterna’s mother, BA, and close relative, BA.5, were found in South Africa and were first spotted in the US at the end of March. At the time, both were the most evasive variants of the immune response. Although the BA.5 would eventually dominate worldwide, the BA would not dominate in the US or elsewhere.

Source: Fortune

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