WHO warns ability to identify new Covid variants is diminishing as testing declines

  1. I guess question for anyone who can answer this. At this point, is it sufficient enough to track/monitor new variants through wastewater? Or is testing necessary for discovering new variants?

  2. I don't think it's possible to detect new variants in wastewater. You have to know what you're searching for. Even a PCR test is not enough to detect new variants. You have to sequence the genome. That is only done to a small percentage of samples by specialized labs.

  3. Weird how it sounds like civilians faults, but they test for new variants by collecting the water waste from areas, and testing it. So it's not the people, but the people in power whom are to blame in this case.

  4. They started charging for testing in 'murica so yeah testing won't happen anymore when it become a choice between eating a meal or paying for a test

  5. You think that’s bad? Ontario, Canada fully banned people from getting tested (with the exception of rapid tests), unless you’re a teacher, a healthcare worker, or indigenous.

  6. It's the same in the UK. Like £2 per test is one of the cheaper ones I've seen, but I've seen some places charge £3 or £4 and it's insane.

  7. Pretty sure you can get them free via your insurance, yeah? And can't you order up to 4 free ones a month from the government?

  8. As it becomes more and more mild, people treat it more like a cold. Which is understandable. It’s also understandable that people have media hysteria fatigue. I’m not saying it’s right, but I get it.

  9. I think everyone is blown out. I’m in Scotland right now and when it comes up in conversation people don’t want anything to do with it. I have even noticed people causally saying that they don’t even know what the lockdown was for anymore.

  10. Is it considered mild now? I got it for the first time finally a month ago and missed a full week of work and just finally got over a nagging cough that lasted four weeks. Both my mother and father got it a the same time and were hospitalized by thankfully survived. It's not that mild.

  11. There are a lot of steps between healthy and death that Covid can cause. Aside from flu/cold like symptoms, people can be affected for months by long term effects. Links to new varients may be under reported if widespread testing isn't performed.

  12. Yep. Nevermind the long term side effects that results in a shorter life span or lower quality of life a number of people experience from covid. Preventative measures are too inconvenient.

  13. I mean I care, but there's nothing we can really do about it at this point. The virus is endemic. It's just part of life at this point.

  14. Not worth the mental effort to care anymore with all sortss of other shit happening. I file it away under if I get sick I get sick and call it a day.

  15. It didn’t win. It just thinned the herd for us. We had gotten fat and nature corrected a few things. It’s ebb and flow. It’s not wins and losses. We still have over 7 billion people on the planet. We haven’t gotten rid of the common cold yet and you’re acting like a brand new virus has won because it still exists a few years later? The cold didn’t have half the population denying its existence.

  16. I’m just gonna use some basic logic here. If people aren’t getting tested, it is possible that they don’t think that whatever cold they have is worth getting tested for. Death numbers aren’t exactly skyrocketing, at least not here in the US… maybe it’s time to stop fearmongering just a little bit and accept that we are returning to normal as COVID becomes an everyday thing.

  17. I’d guess it’s also the prevalence of home test kits too. If I’m feeling sick I do the quick home test since it’s way better than the 2+ hour process for me to drive to the pharmacy to get tested

  18. I mean it's still here. 225,000 people have died of COVID in 2022, and that doesn't include the increase of people who died from Cardiac Deaths (Heart Attack, disease, etc) or stroke after COVID infection who otherwise might not have.

  19. yes, the average getting of covid and recovering from it is relatively tame (for those who are not at risk or immunocompromised) but that is not the scary part about covid. the more that people get infected, the more the virus will mutate. the more the virus mutates, the more likely that the mutation will cause a more severe or more deadly strain. every single person that is infected increases the likelihood that covid becomes deadly to the “average” person.

  20. People are getting sick weeks/months after covid exposure with Long covid (viral nerve daamge) symptoms. They dont know how important testing and limiting exposure is because docs/clinic/officials/media has failed miserable in raising awareness. The mental/psychological symptoms that come with this crap are terrifying.

  21. I'm a new commer in redditapp.I'm living in China and our country are taking an unscientific method that is lockdown cities.You sad covid variant is fearmongering,but as we konw RNA virus changes quickly and uncertainty. What do you think of such a variant, I mean it could become more dangerous.

  22. And people who think it's acceptable to let hundreds of thousands of extra deaths occur as long as they're not personally inconvenienced.

  23. The best thing about this comment is that people on both sides of the issue assume you’re referring to the other side.

  24. Entertaining though and eye opening on the reality of things. Don't worry, same discussion are carried in real world. The covid topic has become as intense at drinking as it was with sports and politics. When it starts, it's time to go home. Though we are still in a huge mess and there's not clearly a solution to it, just more problems piling up.

  25. Yeah what do you expect when covid is still going on and on top of that it’s a shit show to get any sort of accurate information and half the world seems to think it’s over

  26. Pandemic means a disease that spreads from country to country, so I'm unsure biden can just declare that isn't happening.. . Even if wasn't it would be an epidemic to the USA because lots of people are still dying in the USA

  27. Umm. Personally I live in a country where testing costs. So a lot of people can't exactly afford it. I don't know what the EU and WHO are doing but if you want testing , figure out how to make them free. Some other countries figured it out. Ask them how they did it.

  28. This is to be expected when the severity drops. If it mutates and the death rate spikes again, that will probably have the same effect as before, to motivate more people to be tested more frequently. There's always a possibility there could be a more severe mutation, whether that is likely or not. A lot of testing happens with at-home test kits, so there's not really a way to tell if it's a new mutation or not. I always tested at home when possible.

  29. By all accounts, the severity hasn't really dropped, it spiked up with delta and back down with omicron, but it's about the same as the wild type variant (i.e. the og variant that caused the pandemic). The reason the case fatality rate is primarily so low nowadays is widespread immune protection both from vaccination (especially if triple dosed) and prior infections. So many people are now vaccinated, have had COVID or both, and many susceptible people have died earlier in the pandemic (tragically) - so the case fatality rate has plummeted (which is good) but the virus is about as severe as it always was.

  30. If it mutates and the death rate spikes again, that will probably have the same effect as before, to motivate more people to be tested more frequently. There's always a possibility there could be a more severe mutation”

  31. Yes, my son had covid last week so we kept him home from school to limit the spread. We used a home test kit.

  32. Oh no, they don’t have a new strain identified on a monthly basis to slap on a news headline to scare the general public with. Get fucked. I am so done with COVID. I got my vaccine. I get my flu shot annually. Let’s just call a spade a spade and not spin it into the Black Plague again please..

  33. On the contrary, a 2% fatality rate is extremely alarming. That's about what it was towards the beginning of the pandemic, without any vaccination or immune protection from infection. That number is why the world went nuts, that's why many of us locked down and hunkered down until vaccines arrived. Now, thankfully, the case fatality rate has become much lower than 2% in most places around the world. It's on average below half a percent now, and in highly vaccinated places around 0.1%. The figures you see on Google will show you 1% over the life of the pandemic, but that data is heavily skewed towards the beginning of the pandemic. The danger on the horizon isn't more of the same, it's if a new variant comes on the scene that has a higher fatality rate. I'm hopeful that won't happen.

  34. and what? we already sat two years at home... Everyone is sick of doing that. Just be careful out there and we got your vaccines too so what more do you want?

  35. A lot of people outside of the developed world don't have their vaccines yet. We've simply decided to sacrifice them on the altar of capitalism so that no one else has to make even the slightest change to the way they're living.

  36. Who even cares about covid anymore, had long covid for like a year and it was definitely do-able. Just get a vaccination if you’re older and chill out, life goes on.

  37. The novelty of the virus is wearing off, the lethality seems to be matching that of all other common crown viruses. This pandemic is over.

  38. China is maybe the worst example. They only have a very low number of positive tests because they are locking down so fast, sometimes confining millions of people to their homes over a single positive test.

  39. And wha new strain discovery will give us exactly? We can't outcompete the viris with vaccines, neither we are fast enough to cap on dangerous variant spread before it's too late. Now that virus weakened by evolution and most of the ppl had it its time to move on. These authorities better look for new dangerous and learn from their fails at the beging of covid. It took them 6 months to discover that masks are worth to use.

  40. I mean where i live in Sweden we cant get tested anymore unless we work in healthcare. I've gotten sick 2 times in the past 2 months and I have no idea if it's covid or not, we can do those DIY tests that you can buy at a pharmacy, but they aren't that effective. If you test positive, you probably have covid but still unsure, and if you test negative you can't trust the test because you can still have covid..

  41. People tend to be even more afraid when people around them keep dying of mysterious pneumonia, than when they know what's causing it and how to fight it.

  42. I have never been one to deny this virus. Both of my parents got it when it was in its original form and it was pretty severe for them, they didn’t have to go to the hospital luckily…. but they lost friends and family to it. It’s very real. That being said, it seems to appear the variants are getting milder. My son had it back when the pandemic started and he was out for a week. He got omicron in July and was fine by day three, no fever or anything. I know it’s a sample size of one, but definitely a huge difference. Covid will be endemic and we will deal with it. We still have to protect the vulnerable, but we also have to move on. The upheaval caused by the lockdowns and school shut downs cannot be reversed. The fact that kids were kept out of school still boils my blood. They had like a 99.999% survival rate, yet they had to stay home. And now we have at least 3 grades of young kids who are socially and academically behind the curve. High schoolers can do virtual learning, kindergartners cannot. We know from experience in our household. I wish all along we had taken the approach that Sweden did, because they are being proven right, now that we look back. “Two weeks to flatten the curve“ turned into a year from hell. I just wish people would’ve worn masks, and not made this a big political crap fest…. but unless they announce some odd, more serious variant, I’m pretty much done with all of this. I’ll still be careful but I’m living my life. (and bring on the downvotes, because my kid going to school probably killed someone’s grandmother.)

  43. Well the main issue is the wef stopped funding the who to force governments into covid strategies. Now we are back to scare tactics, woohoo

  44. Time to just accept that COVID is another respiratory virus that people will get and those who want to listen to media hysteria can take the precautions they feel necessary.

  45. Because we're getting used to it and because the number of deaths is declining. And politicians need votes and want the public to feel good. And masks vs tracking variants are two different things. Naturally while the virus is less lethal, and less people go to the doctor since they can test at home, there is less data from tests so that they can figure out if a more lethal variant is immerging. And that won't change whether people wear masks or not.

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