⚠️BREAKING—HOTEL CROSS TRANSMISSION OF #B11529—Traveler from South Africa🇿🇦 flew to Hong Kong🇭🇰 with new variant—but wasn’t discovered until 4th day of quarantine on 2nd PCR. Another guest across hallway cross-infected—only positive on 8th day on 4th PCR! Both Pfizer vaccinated🧵 Image
2) the viral load of these two with #B11529 in Hong Kong hotels were VERY high. PCR Ct values of 18 and 19!!! That’s insanely high considering they were negative on recent PCR tests. Damn, looks like vaccine evasion could be real with this variant.
3) and hell yes it’s very airborne. The hotel guests were in different room across the hallway from each other. Environmental samples found the virus in 25 of 87 swab across both rooms.
4) I think border and travel restrictions make sense. Especially since Hong Kong 🇭🇰 only caught the case because of a mandatory hotel quarantine. Which countries in the west still have that??? Almost none.
5) This #B11529 variant is bad bad bad. Scientists worldwide are worried. It has a very bad spike mutation profile and it is spreading fast across South Africa 🇿🇦— see thread 🧵 below 👇
6) 32 mutations in one spike protein is helluva a lot. Its “extremely high”. And it has real concerns because of the bad nature of these mutations too.
7) South Africa 🇿🇦 health leaders are extremely worried about #B11529. We expect the WHO will issue a new Greek name to it soon - likely the #NuVariant.
8) the #B11529 Nu variant seems to have a lot of antibody escape properties— escape in multiple epitope classes of the antibody. This is a really bad thing.
9) the spread across South Africa is quite sudden and widespread… and change from 1% positivity to suddenly 30% in a week!
10) cases still low but this surge in #B11529 is no joke. Take it seriously. Image
11) Let’s finally look at the relative growth plotted by @jburnmurdoch - cases of #B11529 surging much faster than Delta. Caveat is that cases are low. But this would be very worrisome if confirmed in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned. Stay safe. 🙏 Image
12) 500% more infectious for #B11529 is jaw dropping if it is true. Let’s hope the early data is wrong. We actually REALLY REALLY want this early data to be wrong … because if it’s not wrong… it’s cataclysmic. See new 🧵 below.
13) Experts estimate that South Africa 🇿🇦 is already 72% infected. Natural infection clearly isn’t enough to stop #B11529 currently.
14) Israel’s testing has now found 3 cases of #B11529 - the second country outside of Africa to have identified it. This is bad. Israel 🇮🇱 and HK are very strict. I just worry for the non strict quarantine and entry testing countries now.
15) If you have found my threads 🧵 helpful, the please consider subscribing for special updates in near future:

➡️ drericding.substack.com
16) Latest models suggest #B11529 could be as much as 500% more infectious. That is indescribably bad. See thread 🧵
17) The new name for the #B11529 variant is OMICRON—which the @WHO warns has higher risk of reinfection! #Omicron
18) WHO mentioned reinfection risk (ie natural infection not a good idea)— it’s based on lots of research in bad mutations among the 32 mutations that #B11529 #OmicronVariant has in its spike protein.

Figure by @jbloom_lab.
jbloomlab.github.io/SARS2_RBD_Ab_e… Image

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More from @DrEricDing

29 Nov
Hundreds of ✈️ passengers that landed in Amsterdam🇳🇱 (61 COVID, 13 #Omicron) were crammed for hours together with “no masks, no distancing—300 of us in a waiting room which was not very large, tight against each other." Negatives just released—no followup!
francetvinfo.fr/sante/maladie/… ImageImage
2) Confirmed by also NYT reporter who was there. All crammed in unventilated room without mask compliance. What a mess
3) These passengers waited 6 hours on the tarmac and then 10 hours for their test results - all while many gave up on masks. And they they were all released no quarantine. I’m going to say this was a complete screw up of Netherlands 🇳🇱 govt.
Read 5 tweets
29 Nov
Folks—as much as life is unpredictable, we should try to have empathy for others & show kindness to strangers—and to help each other whenever we can when others in need. I was given a second chance in life, so I believe in karma & paying it forward. 🙏
Many folks don’t understand why I tweet. Some think I’m a fearmonger, or think I’m some opportunist, or think I’m a CCP spy. They are wrong. ➡️instead, this is who I am—I was given a second shot at life—saving lives & public health is my life mission: well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/08/a-w…
3) I did this in Jan 2020 at great personal cost and professional peril… but I did it anyway. Maybe history one day will be more kind. nymag.com/intelligencer/…
Read 4 tweets
28 Nov
⚠️TRIPLING HOSPITALIZATIONS IN 2 WEEKS—In #Omicron epicenter of Gauteng Province, South Africa🇿🇦, there is more than **tripling of #COVID19 hospitalizations** in 2 weeks—➡️ from 135 hospital admissions to 418. This is data directly from 🇿🇦’s CDC @nicd_sa🧵
2) here is the exact #COVID19 hospitalizations breakdown for Gauteng Province by both public and private hospitals. It’s increasing equally - tripling in both classes of hospitals. This is not just a surveillance issue. Trust the @nicd_sa data first. nicd.ac.za/diseases-a-z-i…
3) breakdown many #COVID19 patients currently hospitalized / in ICU / on ventilator in Gauteng 🇿🇦—747 hospitalized, 57 in ICU, and 23 on a ventilator. @nicd_sa doesn’t give the time series for all of these. It’s still early. Less hope it doesn’t rise further.
Read 17 tweets
28 Nov
📍”MARKED CHANGE”—In South Africa 🇿🇦: “Young people, in their 20s to late 30s, are coming in with moderate to severe disease, some needing intensive care. About 65% are not vaccinated—most of the rest are only half-vaccinated”. ➡️#GetVaccinatedNow #Omicron pbs.org/newshour/healt…
2) Yes I’m aware of conflicting reports. But I’m citing PBS / AP - reputable sources. The disinfo on other side saying it’s “mild” is from manipulating quotes.
3) Here is the full context of those who claimed it was “mild”. Different doctors see diff patients. I know for a fact that hospitalizations are rising in the Gauteng epicenter province. I’ll share a graph later.
Read 4 tweets
28 Nov
BREAKING—13 #Omicron variant cases now confirmed from 61 #COVID19 cases among ~600 passengers on two flights from South Africa to Amsterdam 🇳🇱(that took off and was mid-air when EU travel limits added). Dutch government warns there will likely be more. bbc.co.uk/news/world-eur…
2) Overnight, Germany also added a confirmed case (suspected yesterday) along with Italy 🇮🇹, and previously Australia just recently. Austria and Denmark now have probables. bnonews.com/index.php/2021…
3) the two Australia 🇦🇺 cases also just came off of Qatar Airways flights from South Africa 🇿🇦 via Doha. The earlier Hong Kong 🇭🇰 cases also were on @qatarairways via Doha. ➡️ I think @DohaAirport needs to do more screenings as well.
Read 5 tweets
28 Nov
NEW—Australia 🇦🇺 confirms its first 2 cases of #Omicron variant in New South Wales (Sydney region) among flight ✈️ passengers returning from South Africa 🇿🇦, aboard a Qatar Airways flight via Doha. All 260 aboard now isolating. 14 days hotel quarantine for those from S Africa. 🧵 Image
2) This adds to the flurry of new / probable #Omicron cases identified in the past 2 days. It’s definitely global now
3) I warned that it was already global outside of SubSaharan Africa when we immediately noticed the Belgium 🇧🇪 case has zero travel to Southern Africa. And it was weeks ago. Millions fly out every week in Africa. It was inevitable if we respond so late.
Read 4 tweets

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