4 big things we still don't know about COVID after 2 years Two years of the COVID pandemic have taught us much about masks, vaccines and quarantines, but we still lack answers about long COVID, vaccine protection and the origins of the novel coronavirus.

DMCA / Correction Notice
- Advertisement -

The first cases of COVID-19 began to appear in December 2019.

- Advertisement -

For the latest news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.


In December 2019, a group of patients in Wuhan, China, began experiencing an undiagnosed pneumonia, later identified as COVID-19, that quickly engulfed the world with 227 million infections and 5 million as a result. More deaths occurred.

Since then, progress against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has been comparatively rapid: many effective vaccines emerged in a single year, far faster than the four or 10 it might normally take. And Pfizer just got FDA authorization for it COVID Antiviral PillPaxlovid, which the pharmaceutical giant says can reduce the risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 by up to 89%.

- Advertisement -

Infectious disease experts have filled many of the unknowns of COVID-19 and can now quickly identify mutations as they occur. delta And omicron Variants.

But, two years later, as America passes 800,000 deaths from COVID — and millions more infections and hospitalizations — scientists are still struggling to answer some of the big questions. For additional information about COVID-19, here’s what we know About the new Omicron version and how to get free home test kit, And be sure to learn how to put on your Vaccine Information Card. on your smartphone,

Why does COVID make some people more sick, including those with longer COVID?

We know that viruses cause symptoms ranging from headache, fever and disorientation to nausea and vomiting and even loss of taste or smell. While scientists continue to piece together who is more likely to be affected by these results, they still do not have an answer as to why some people experience severe illness and others do not.

Gigi Gronwall, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told Nerdshala that age is certainly the biggest correlate for serious illness. “But there are 29-year-olds who have died, children who have died, when all signs suggest they must have had a mild disease.”

Scientists are also trying to get their arms around “long COVID” – a series of symptoms that can last for weeks or months after a patient is first infected. The World Health Organization has issued a definition that includes a variety of lingering symptoms – including fatigue, shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, anxiety and depression – and the list varies. Nevertheless, the cause of the condition is not clearly known.

“After two years, we don’t understand much about long-term COVID, and don’t know its spread with Omicron after vaccination,” said Bob Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. tweeted on Wednesday, “This remains a hardship for millions of people, and a concern for me as I think about the possibility of getting even ‘mild’ case of Omicron.”

While some common symptoms, such as loss of smell and taste, appear less common with Omicron, Gronwall said, “We just don’t know if that type of people will suffer COVID for long. We have enough to tell now.” there’s no time.”

How long will immunity from vaccines with variants like Omron last?

The first COVID-19 vaccines were implemented in the US a year ago, and the two most effective in the US – from Modern And Pfizer/BioNTech — A unique approach: using messenger RNA (mRNA) to teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response to a virus.

According to the CDC, researchers have been studying mRNA vaccines for “decades,” the first time it has been made available to the public. Scientists continue to gather information about how effective they are—and when their effectiveness begins to wane.

“We’re definitely still figuring it out,” Gronwall said. “We are seeing that protection decreases before six months, which is why boosters at six months are being recommended.”

As new variants like the fast-spreading Omicron emerge, he said, “whether or not the booster will be long enough is something we still need to uncover.”

According to the World Health Organisation, vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are much less effective in preventing infection by the Omicron strain than earlier COVID-19 variants. Other vaccines — including those from Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and those manufactured in Russia and China — do even more to prevent infection by the Omron variant, The New York Times reported.

Still, according to Harvard Medical School, fully vaccinated individuals are much less likely to experience severe symptoms, hospitalization, and death, especially if they get a booster shot.

“It’s not a worst-case scenario where vaccines are ineffective,” Gronwall said. “In the laboratory scenarios we’ve seen, vaccines offer little protection. It seems to have originated in reality, but we can’t project into the real world yet.”

Will there be more variants like Delta and Omicron?

Viruses mutate constantly. According to the CDC, sometimes these mutations result in new disease strains that quickly emerge and disappear. Other times, they persist and cause spikes in infection and disease rates. According to the WHO, in two years, COVID has turned into five “forms of concern”, based on the severity of the disease, the effectiveness of medical countermeasures and the strain’s ability to spread from person to person.

The Alpha, Beta and Gamma variants were downgraded to “variant monitoring” in September, with Delta and Omicron still considered to be of concern. This week federal health officials declared the Omicron variant the major strain in the US, accounting for About three-quarters of new infections, Preliminary studies indicated that the disease caused by Omicron may be less severe than that of Delta, which had twice the hospitalization rate of the original alpha strain, but is also far more contagious.

Health officials have warned that the longer the pandemic lasts and the longer large groups remain without vaccination, the longer it will take for the virus to spread and mutate. While researchers can quickly map and identify variants, they need time to see how dangerous a new strain is as they gather data on hospitalizations and deaths.

“We still aren’t great at seeing new forms and what they mean in the real world,” Gronwall said. “We have better tools to read the genetic material and determine when variants emerge. But we can’t read them like a book.”

Getty Images - 1230888172

Researchers accompanied by a WHO investigation team arrive at the Huanan Seafood Market on January 31, 2021.

Where did COVID-19 come from?

Experts are still not sure how COVID-19 emerged. The prevailing theory is that it jumped from an animal to a human. The first symptoms of COVID-19 were reported in Wuhan among people who either worked or lived near the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, an open-air “wet market” that serves fresh beef, poultry, fish, and fish. and sold the produce.

The market also traded exotic animals, including badgers, hedgehogs, civets and porcupines, as pets and food, according to multiple sources, including a June 2021 study in Scientific Reports.

However, others claim that SARS-CoV-2 emerged in a laboratory – infecting a researcher with a naturally occurring or human-engineered virus, which spreads it to others. While there is no solid evidence to support the lab-leak theory, former President Donald Trump and his supporters pushed the lab-leak theory forward until 2020.

“A lot of people are using it as a vehicle for other agendas,” Gronwall said. “And of course the Chinese are lying.” Government officials originally claimed that there were no banned animals present at the market, he said, but looking for a different tick-borne disease, researchers photographed several poached animals there, “stuffed together in close quarters, In a state of ill health and stress, the cases were identified months ago.”

“People are seeing the blame [someone], Gronwall said. “They are not looking for an explanation that is very humane and plausible. But no virus has been found in the laboratory that is close to spreading around the world.”

Since the Chinese government closed the Huanan market and removed almost all evidence as soon as COVID cases were linked to it, Gronwall said, researchers are unlikely to ever find the exact animal culprit.

“It was not like SARS in 2003, when you had these palm civets that were all infected and it was too early,” she said.

This summer, to uncover more about the emergence of COVID-19, President Joe Biden instructed the federal intelligence community to “redouble its efforts” to investigate the origins of the virus.

What do we know, going into our third year of illness, do we have a medicine cabinet of tools – including Vaccines And antiviral pills – When we first learned about COVID-19 we didn’t have it. For more information, we know about Modern And pfizer vaccine booster and How to choose which one to get,

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult with a physician or other qualified health provider with respect to any questions you may have about a medical condition or health purposes.

- Advertisement -

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

Recent Articles

Related Stories