Disturbing Challenges: Asymptomatic Infections and Variants

Before getting into the challenges of asymptomatic infections and variants, I wanted to note that Dr. Fauci was quoted last Friday as saying he would not be willing to dine indoors or go to a movie theater even though he’s been fully vaccinated. Why? Because he understands everything I’ve shared in part 1 and part 2 and knows the substantial limitations of the protection he has at this point. If Covid shots produced sterilizing immunity in the way that Measles and other vaccines do, no health measures or activity reluctance would be necessary after an individual had been fully vaccinated.

Many Covid skeptics note high infection survival rates when arguing against continued health measures. Ironically, prominent health experts defend vaccines by saying they will prevent you from dying the vast majority of the time. Well, if you don’t die from your Covid infection, isn’t that all that is important? In a word… No.

Studies show that asymptomatic infections can still wreak havoc in the body producing lung, heart, and brain damage as well as tiny blot clots in all these areas. A few noteworthy findings with links are detailed below:

– 70–80% of those with asymptomatic infection have lung damage worse than those of smokers.

Studies find 78% had heart abnormalities and 60% had heart inflammation

– SARS-CoV-2 has been classified as a neurotropic virus as it can enter nerve cells and affect the brain.

Studies have found leaky small blood vessels in the brains of those who’ve been infected as well as injuries resembling those from tiny strokes.

If you are saying that it doesn’t seem normal for a naturally occurring virus to affect this wide range of body systems, you are absolutely correct. We do not see this with run of the mill cold or flu viruses. There is evidence that one of the first stops for Covid after entering the airway is the brain. It travels up the olfactory nerve to the centers for memory and emotion. This is why many people experience loss of smell and taste as one of their earliest symptoms and subsequently may have mental fogginess and/or emotional difficulties.

Since the Covid shot only produces effective immunity which does not necessarily prevent a virus from entering your system and infecting you either asymptomatically or at a low symptomatic level, a significant number of people could still be afflicted by these very damaging outcomes from asymptomatic infections. Maybe people won’t get severe Covid and need to go to the hospital for traditional symptoms, but we have to wonder if folks may suffer from heart attacks, strokes or aneurysms due to the ramifications of silent, asymptomatic Covid infections.

The under the rug nature of the damage that even an asymptomatic infection can cause could lead to an increased number of deaths that appear to be due to another cause, but would only be determined to be from Covid if and when an autopsy was conducted. So, some who don’t die from respiratory distress could later die from a heart attack, stroke, or other serious condition that they would have never developed had they not gotten Covid in their system. Bottom line: you don’t want this virus in your body if you can avoid it.

If the vaccine limitations and thorny problems with asymptomatic infections weren’t enough, we now have to deal with the extremely challenging issue of variants. It was announced last week that the more infectious U.K. variant is now officially the dominant strain in the United States. This is troubling as studies have shown this variant to be up to 70% more infectious and potentially as much as 30% more lethal. Early studies on the original Covid-19 virus showed the unmitigated rate of transmission was as much as 5.7, which means one infected person would give the virus to an average of 5.7 people when no preventative measures like masks or distancing were being used. Given this, U.K. variant transmission could be as high as 9.7.

Picture those spring break party scenes and imagine one person infected with the U.K. variant transmitting to nearly 10 people and those people transmitting to 10 people and so on. Things can get out of control very quickly.

Usually, with most viral infections, once you have had a virus you are unlikely to get infected again. Unfortunately, infection with the original strain of Covid-19 does not generate adequate antibodies to protect from infection with the variants. Many individuals who had a Covid-19 infection have become reinfected with a variant.

There is little doubt that the U.K. variant is driving the 4th surge that has begun in a number of states. Unfortunately, this and other new variants are more infectious to younger people and children than the original strain. With the current push to open all schools for in-person learning, these variants are becoming dominant at exactly the wrong time.

In a disturbing lack of transparency, some of the drug companies have not provided a precise vaccine efficacy number against the U.K. variant, but just say it is quite effective. Efficacy against severe disease for those reporting data typically ranges from 70–85.6% when also wearing masks and engaging in all health measures, which is quite a bit less than the 94–95% noted for the original strain.

However, as troubling as this spike from the U.K. variant is, the more ferocious South African variant is present in about three-fourths of states and is growing in prominence. The current vaccine formulations are not nearly as effective against this variant. Studies reporting efficacy percentages indicate serious illness prevention percentages typically range from around 40 to the mid-60’s. Some have even been as low as 10%. And, of course, the effectiveness percentages are reduced when looking at the levels of moderate, mild, or asymptomatic infections.

A new study from Israel is already indicating that the South African variant is partially escaping the Pfizer vaccine and it is underperforming with the U.K. variant as well. So the touted benefit of protection against serious illness is not being fully realized with these new variants. Plus, there are other potentially menacing variants that not quite as much is known about such as the Brazilian variant along with around 7 U.S. based variants.

As long as any transmission is happening, variants will keep forming. It doesn’t matter if the infected person is symptomatic or asymptomatic, vaccinated or unvaccinated. Anyone who gets this in their body can potentially transmit it to others and become a link in the variant production chain.

And, some of these variants are unique and strong enough that they affect people almost as if they were a brand new pandemic virus. The amount of vaccine escape seen with the South African variant will almost certainly make a revised vaccine formulation necessary. Be on the lookout for announcements in coming months that everyone needs to come back for “boosters”, as that will be code for the original vaccines being substantially defunct against the dominant variant.

Next time, in part 4, we will explore the very real possibility that the virus came from the Wuhan lab and discuss some important points related to the drug companies manufacturing the vaccines.