Building on the Dec. 22 South African variant may be worse than UK variant: A template is needed for the variants to come post here, the following eight criteria are proposed to help create a template to assess the many variant SARS-CoV-2 viruses already found and those to come.
These eight criteria will need to be better quantified as more data becomes available after a variant is identified, and then determined whether it is a “variant of concern,” depending on assessment of these criteria (and likely more).
If all these possible criteria are met, then the term “mega-variant” is proposed.
The eight criteria are:
- More deadly: in adults and/or children (degree of increase to be quantified)
- More contagious (degree of increased transmissibility to be quantified)
- Re-Infections are frequent: by epidemiologic and/or virologic evidence
- Vaccine escape mutants (partial loss of vaccine efficacy to be quantified)
- Monoclonal antibody escape mutants
- Increased risk of “long-COVID”
- Increased risk of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children: “MIS-C”
- In the future, when specific antiviral drugs (not antibodies or immune modulators) are proven to decrease mortality are found, then this #8 will be resistance to one or more of these (future) drugs