Some doctors are alarmed by the blase attitude toward the Covid drug Paxlovid, quite different from when the drug first became available. What's going on? Some of the waning interest in the drug is because of the widespread use of the term "Paxlovid rebound," implying that there is something wrong with it. More likely, the problem is the term, not the drug.
If you're sick and tired of hearing about yet another Omicron subvariant taking over the world you're not alone. But there is one subvariant called Centaurus, aka B.27.5, that provides a fascinating example of how a seemingly-minuscule mutation can have a profound effect on the virus. And, at no extra cost, a Dreaded Chemistry Lesson From Hell! Plus a gratuitous shot at Dr. Oz.
The FDA just voted to approve a different Covid vaccine; this one based on one of the Omicron subvariants. But the decision was anything but simple. A look at the science.
If we've learned anything about Covid it's that when we think we start to understand it the virus changes behavior, as if to spitefully prove us wrong. It's happening again. Now there are Omicron subvariants that can infect people who have not only had Covid but were infected with a slightly different Omicron variant. This pretty much buries the idea of herd immunity – something we were chasing early in the pandemic.
There’s considerable discussion about whether COVID vaccines are responsible for the barrage of variants that keep hitting us. Is selective pressure driving this – like with bacteria and antibiotics? Let's take a look.
South Africa took a punch to the gut recently as the "dreaded" omicron variant, aka the "South African Variant" emerged and scared the hell out of the world, at least for a few days. South Africa also paid a heavy price economically for being tagged with that name. And it was all unfair because the name was the result of the excellence of scientists who discovered it, and prompt reporting by health officials – which came back to bite them. Once again, no good deed …
We need new coronavirus variants like a duodenal ulcer, but they're here – something any virologist would have said was inevitable. Here's a lesson on how mutation works. Plus an explanation of what those crazy letters and numbers mean that you see in the news.