Alwayssunnyinarizona t1_jdkb53l wrote

Ah, I see. I need to read up more on feline coronaviruses, but my understanding is that the disease itself (FIP) is not transmissible per se. One cat with FIP won't give FIP to another cat, for example - it's a syndrome that is as much cat-dependent as it is virus dependent.

The coronaviruses themselves (there are various strains) are transmissible, but you need a specific mutation in a chronically infected cat to cause FIP. Once that virus has mutated, it may infect other cats, but won't cause FIP. I am not aware of any particular strain that is guaranteed to mutate and produce FIP in every (or even most) cats.

Does that make sense?


Alwayssunnyinarizona t1_jdjvznu wrote

They are competing for resources in terms of susceptible individuals. If virus A is more transmissible, replicates in cells more quickly, or bypasses immunity that would otherwise prevent infection with virus B, then virus A has outcompeted virus B.

With evolution, everything is competition.


Alwayssunnyinarizona t1_jdjownw wrote

I thought about an Australopithecus analogy, but thought readers might grasp the idea of bringing back the wooly mammoth as it's currently in the news (along with the dodo). Apart from that, I've lost track of whether omicron is a straight derivative of delta, or if they have a shared common ancestor - which would make it more like the mammoth analogy ;)

Actually, according to this article in Science, it looks more like they shared a common, mammoth rather than Homo erectus.


Alwayssunnyinarizona t1_jdjnje1 wrote

>The natural life cycle of any virus is for it to become more infectious and less dangerous to the hosts since that's the best way for the virus to survive.

That's not really true.

>As evidence mounts that the omicron variant is less deadly than prior COVID-19 strains, one oft-cited explanation is that viruses always evolve to become less virulent over time.
>The problem, experts say, is that this theory has been soundly debunked.


And in my comment, I did not distinguish case numbers vs. case severity. I said "until/unless covid starts to fall below background common cold status." I'm sorry that you read it that way.


Alwayssunnyinarizona t1_jdjaqo7 wrote

There's no real specific guidance, but it's starting to turn into more flu-like guidance - vaccines recommended every year around the same time you'd be getting an annual flu vaccine, regardless of whether you were infected in the last 6-12 months or not. Expect there to be additional combo vaccines this fall (flu/covid), and that may persist for years until/unless covid starts to fall below background common cold status.


Alwayssunnyinarizona t1_jdj5d3u wrote

The answer is part scientific, part administrative, and part practical.

Scientifically, the spike protein is made up of many different epitopes (smaller parts of the protein that are recognized by antibodies or T cells). Some of those epitopes still convey protection for current variants.

Administratively, Covid vaccines still have to go through hoops that eg influenza vaccines currently don't, so it's easier to just use what's already gone through trials and approval processes. Soonish, the vaccines can bypass those regs and update as fast as flu vaccines do. Whether that is helpful or not is up for debate, as we've seen that flu vaccines are often outdated by the time they're released.

Practically, if the vaccines are still effective, there's not a lot of pressure on eg Moderna or Pfizer to "retool" the production lines to make an updated vaccine.


Alwayssunnyinarizona t1_jdj082m wrote

Some derivative of it likely does, but it's been eons (in viral time) since delta was first identified, so almost without a doubt it has continued to evolve in those reservoirs - much like mammoths have gone extinct but we still see their close relatives in elephants. For the time being, anyway.


Alwayssunnyinarizona t1_jdivhuu wrote

The viruses are racing to find people who are susceptible enough to infect. It would be like Jesse Owens trying to keep up with Usain Bolt. Jesse was fast for his time, but Usain is going to beat him to the finish line e: 99.9999% of the time - enough that if you weren't paying very very close attention, you'd never see that one time Jesse beat him. .


Alwayssunnyinarizona t1_jditzmk wrote

The most common strain in the US currently, omicron xbb 1.5, transmits better than previous strains - the virus would die out if it didn't. There's the pressure exerted by herd immunity, but if the viruses didn't transmit more efficiently, they'd die out.

I also lead a life that should make it really easy to get infected, but the vaccines continue to work. There's a high chance you've been exposed and the infection was so mild you didn't even notice - either because you were vaccinated or immunologically lucky.

I'm also a bit surprised, as when something has been in the news - RSV or norovirus, for example, we've already had it a week prior (kids in daycare/school), so we're certainly at high risk of exposure for something like covid. All I can say is that the vaccines seem to be working.


Alwayssunnyinarizona t1_jdiozcj wrote

It's a bit like asking if the wooly mammoth could come back.

Delta has for practical purposes "gone extinct", out competed by other, more successful variants.

At this point, it may only exist in a lab setting, where it could in theory be resurrected. It's only chance to persist really is with a little human help because more competitive strains are still out there on the landscape.


Alwayssunnyinarizona t1_j4jncdx wrote

You'll be at the whim of the county health department I suspect, but it's unlikely you'll have to go through another course if post-exp was less than a month or two ago. Protection lasts a decade or more, but health departments will have different ideas about when post-exp is necessary, and tend to lean towards public safety.

Get the bats taken care of and you'll have less to worry about!