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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, July 30, 2021

Viral load is roughly 1,000 times higher in people infected with the Delta variant than those infected with the original coronavirus strain, according to a study in China.

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What this says to me is that the mutations in non-structural genes are driving delta.

The changes in S simply let it get in the door in an immune host.

But some aspect of it's intracellular life cycle changed, I'm guessing inhibition of cell intrinsic immunity.

#1 | Posted by jpw at 2021-07-30 10:41 AM | Reply

... Researchers might now know why Delta has been so successful: people infected with it produce far more virus than do those infected with the original version of SARS-CoV-2, making it very easy to spread.

Is this why I'm seeing statements like, ~delta is more transmissible than the flu, the common cold and even smallpox and is on par with chickenpox, considered among the most contagious common viruses~ ? ( www.nbcnews.com )



#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-07-30 11:38 AM | Reply

I would think so.

Influenza R0 is 1-2. That's where SARS-CoV-2 has been up until now.

Small pox R0 is 3.5-6.

Chickenpox (Varicella Zoster) R0 is 10-12!

Higher viral loads = more virus per droplet/aerosol = higher dose to recipient = more likelihood of transmission.

#3 | Posted by jpw at 2021-07-30 12:12 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

this is terrible.

#4 | Posted by Alexandrite at 2021-07-30 03:15 PM | Reply

Higher viral loads = more virus per droplet/aerosol = higher dose to recipient = more likelihood of transmission.

#3 | Posted by jpw

Does a higher initial viral load mean that because the body's immune system has a lot more to fend off from the get go there are better odds of serous illness?

#5 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2021-07-30 03:18 PM | Reply

Doesn't a higher viral load also imply higher likelihood that the infected are more likely to be symptomatic and more quickly?

#6 | Posted by sentinel at 2021-07-30 03:30 PM | Reply

#6 - That's not what we're seeing, though.
Asymptomatic spreaders are a well known phenomenon, and this particular variant seems to have taken that to a whole new level, so no on the first part (likely to be symptomatic) and yes to the second part if you mean spread more quickly since viral load exposure (amount and duration) are what's key to spreading.

From what i've read and understand, anyway.

#7 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-30 03:35 PM | Reply

Related...

DeSantis to bar Florida schools from mandating masks
www.axios.com

...Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Friday he will issue an executive order "very soon" barring local school districts from requiring students to wear masks when they return to school next month, NBC News reports....

#9 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-07-30 03:52 PM | Reply

...Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Friday he will issue an executive order "very soon" barring local school districts from requiring students to wear masks when they return to school next month, NBC News reports....

#9 | Posted by LampLighter

DeSantis and other GQP governors banning cities and municipalities from requiring mitigation efforts may as well wear big lapel buttons that say "I'M PROUDLY PRO VIRUS!"

#10 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2021-07-30 04:01 PM | Reply

"SEE THIS SOMEHOW PROVES THAT IT'S MANMADE. YOU'VE GOT BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS BILL GATES & TONY FAUCI!!!"

-Something I overheard yesterday in New Orleans

#11 | Posted by LostAngeles at 2021-07-30 04:11 PM | Reply

Does a higher initial viral load mean that because the body's immune system has a lot more to fend off from the get go there are better odds of serous illness?

#5 | POSTED BY AMERICANUNITY

Doesn't a higher viral load also imply higher likelihood that the infected are more likely to be symptomatic and more quickly?

#6 | POSTED BY SENTINEL

Both are inter-related and are a bit of a double edged sword.

More virus means a more robust activation of the immune system. This leads to a more robust inflammatory response.

More antigen means more activation/initiation of antibody and T cell responses. More viral RNA means more activation of cell intrinsic immunity and a better balanced/rounded response. This usually translates to better/higher antibody titers and memory formation.

However, all the above leads to faster onset of symptoms (this is being observed in delta infections with onset to symptoms at 4 days instead of 6 on average) and if balance is off and the response is too robust you get runaway inflammation, leading to more severe symptoms.

#12 | Posted by jpw at 2021-07-30 04:20 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Doesn't a higher viral load increase the odds of mutation prior to an immune response in the vaccinated?

#8 | POSTED BY FSUKNOWIT

No.

It increases the odds of a variant being transmitted, but not formed, which is dependent on mutation rate of the viral polymerase and immune selection in that host.

Also, the response in a vaccinated individual is faster and more potent than a newly infected host who will take 2 weeks for a fully effective immune response to be mounted during which the virus is increasingly exposed to stronger and stronger selective pressures.

#13 | Posted by jpw at 2021-07-30 04:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

DeSantis to bar Florida schools from mandating masks

The ultimate sign of the stupidity of Floridians is when DeSantis is reelected.

#14 | Posted by jpw at 2021-07-30 04:30 PM | Reply

We didn't all vote for that piece of ----.
Besides moving from this state, which I can't do due to family obligations, all I can do is what I've been doing. Supporting anyone that runs against him and donating to the cause.

Besides, you live in Missouri. Watch those stones, Mister!

#15 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-30 04:38 PM | Reply

JPW

Thanks for the info. I tried to find the answer but couldn't pin it down like you have :-)

#16 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2021-07-30 04:42 PM | Reply

JPW's the master.

#17 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-30 05:23 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Thanks for all your insights JPW.

Definitely nice to have a virologist around.

#18 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-07-30 06:12 PM | Reply

I don't know about anyone else, but when I first heard about the Delta variant affecting vaccinated people, and put that together with all the mask mandates dropping across the US, the result was inevitable. I never stopped wearing a mask for that reason.

All Delta needed was a little bit of time and distribution was bound to change.

Delta didn't arise from vaccinated populations.
The variant, though, is incredibly efficient (R0 == chicken pox) and those that are vaccinated almost always show no symptoms.
We have a lot of people that refuse to get vaccinated.
The US not coming close to what we needed for herd immunity.

Its virulence being so muted in the vaccinated, along with those that refused to be vaccinated not wearing masks, created an inevitable dumpster fire.

Take a look at this map. See if you can figure out what's going on - and where the people that are vaccinated and those that aren't live:
www.usatoday.com
(hint: the red is an indicator, but the fine tuning is the per capita number and positivity rate you get when you hover over each state)

#21 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-30 07:28 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

BTW - 74% in MA is not at all surprising. MA has an extremely high vaccination rate. What's relevant isn't that 74% of the new covid cases are from those that are vaccinated, but that the positivity rate in MA is extremely low - 2%. Contrast that with Missouri at 15%.

A little information without context can be very misleading.

#22 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-30 07:34 PM | Reply

I just did the calculations on the transmission rate in MA based on population, percentage vaccinated, and based it on the 74% (unattributed number, so I'd like to know where that came from and how it was determined before supporting the premise too much more) and I came up with a transmissibility rate of 39% as opposed to the previously predicted 10-20% for the Alpha (non-Delta) variant. In my calculation I assumed a 10% natural resistance to the disease in a population. If you assume 100% transmission in the unvaccinated, then the transmissibility by vaccinated people would be 43.5%. These are all very rough numbers.

So still effective, prevents so many hospitalizations and deaths, and yes - the need for masks to continue to be worn is still critical.

By the way, here's an article from before Delta, and the advice and information is still as relevant today as ever. Too many of the decisions being made today in state after state is based on politics, not science:

www.healthline.com

Population Vaccinated rate: Assumed Infection Rate:
6,893,000 63% Vaccinated: 4,342,590 39% 1693610 74%
Unvaccinated: 2,550,410 90% 2295369

#23 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-30 08:02 PM | Reply

No need for my speculation. The article is right here: www.cdc.gov

Worth reading, IMHO.

#24 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-30 09:04 PM | Reply

JPW have any comments on this?

What I think is you shouldn't cherry pick a single line from a single study, especially when it says this right in the abstract.

As expected, we found that a fast rate of vaccination decreases the probability of emergence of a resistant strain. Counterintuitively, when a relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions happened at a time when most individuals of the population have already been vaccinated the probability of emergence of a resistant strain was greatly increased. Consequently, we show that a period of transmission reduction close to the end of the vaccination campaign can substantially reduce the probability of resistant strain establishment. Our results suggest that policymakers and individuals should consider maintaining non-pharmaceutical interventions and transmission-reducing behaviours throughout the entire vaccination period.

Why are you so keen on making vaccines the bad guy here instead of the actual bad guys-the Trumpers and anti-vaxxers who refuse to do anything to mitigate spread. Your cited paper demonstrates precisely why their shot sighted stupidity is detrimental to us all.

#25 | Posted by jpw at 2021-07-30 11:31 PM | Reply

The only options are to do nothing and let it wash over us, in which case resistant variants will arise as the population slowly acquires immunity. Because it's not vaccination that drives variants, it's immunity. Vaccination is just the vehicle getting us to a state of higher immunity instead of infections over the span of years. We sure as hell can't undergo "non-pharmaceutical interventions" for the amount of time it would take for natural immunity to be acquire to the extent necessary to end the pandemic.

Option 2 is universal vaccination with "non-pharmaceutical interventions" maintained until sufficient vaccination and immunity is reached. Once that level is reached, variants will allow for infection of immune individuals but immunity will suppress severe disease. You know, like it is with other endemic infections.

What you seem to be arguing for is literally against all medical science and in the worst interests of everyone around you.

#26 | Posted by jpw at 2021-07-30 11:40 PM | Reply

Besides, you live in Missouri. Watch those stones, Mister!

#15 | POSTED BY YAV

Touch! LOL

Yeah, our county council voted to overturn a newly instituted mask mandate because our idiot governor passed a law limiting public health measures as a legislative power. They weren't "consulted first."

--------. You can be sure I'm voting again my area's incumbent next election.

#27 | Posted by jpw at 2021-07-31 01:00 AM | Reply

I'd wager this is going on everywhere with the vaccinated.

#19 | POSTED BY FSUKNOWIT

Gee. It couldn't possibly be because they were told it was OK to behave as if everything was normal? Could it?

Not to mention that county is Cape Cod, Nantucket ect. How many were locals and how many were vaccinated out of towners showing up because they thought their little enclave was safe?

Look up "confounding factor." You apparently are unaware of what it means.

#28 | Posted by jpw at 2021-07-31 01:08 AM | Reply

#21 that map is a MF. Honestly the red should have another even higher threshold. Red starts at 100. But it's over 1000 cases per 100k in parts of Louisiana.

#29 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-07-31 11:29 AM | Reply

That would make it really stand out, Snoofy. You're absolutely right. Over 1,000 should be dark red.

#30 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-31 03:11 PM | Reply

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