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We know Omicron is more contagious, however is it more dangerous?
Lahav Harkov and Yaakov Katz discuss the Omicronvariant and Israel‘s efforts to stop its spread.
Could the Omicron variant have developed in African AIDS patients?
In a special edition of the Jerusalem Post Podcast - Health & Wellness Edition, Senior Health Analyst Maayan Hoffman talks with Prof. Cyrille Cohen, head of the Immunology Lab at Bar-Ilan University, explains what is concerning health experts.
The burning question: How did the world get a COVID variant with more than 50 mutations, including over 30 on the virus’ spike protein?
According to Cohen, SARS-CoV-2 mutates at a rate of about one mutation every two weeks. So a variant like Omicron would mean that it started mutating almost two years ago, “which does not add up with what we know.”
So, why are we seeing so many mutations at once in a variant?
Partly because this variant was developing for a few months under the radar until it acquired enough mutations to be what the Omicron is today as a variant of concern. And the likelihood, said Cohen, is that it could have incubated in people with defective immune systems, like for example in people with AIDS.
“In normal people, not vaccinated, infection lasts five to 10 days,” he said. “This lapse in time is what the virus has to change until you infect someone else. In vaccinated people, the virus has around a day - meaning the virus would not thrive as it does in unvaccinated people. That is why it is so important to get vaccinated in order to stop the spread of the variants.
“But in immunosuppressed people, you might end up with a kind of chronic infection in which the virus lingers for a month or so,” he continued. “And during that time, the virus could actually dodge the immune system and accumulate more and more mutations.”
The virus is just replicating over and over in the person’s body because the immune system is not able to stop it.
“Africa should definitely be granted access to vaccines as fast as possible,” Cohen contended, “because this is a global fight and only when all of the population will have access to vaccines can we stand a chance of minimizing the cases we will see.”
Other items during the discussion:
> Children’s vaccination
> Shuttering Israel’s airport
> The effectiveness of the mRNA vaccines - against the variant and in general
Photo credit: REUTERS, as seen on jpost.com
Is terrorism on the rise in Jerusalem?
Is terrorism on the rise in Israel?
This is a question that Diplomatic Correspondent Lahav Harkov and Editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz tackle on this week’s Jerusalem Post Podcast. They reflect on the recent murder by a Hamas terrorist of a young South African immigrant right outside the Western Wall plaza.
“It was a real tragedy, and it raises some questions, like is terrorism on the rise in Jerusalem and across Israel,” Katz says.
The terrorist was a teacher at an Islamist school in east Jerusalem. After the event, one of the news stations interviewed a student who said, “he was the nicest teacher, he never cursed anyone except for the Jews.”
They also discuss international negotiations about re-joining the Iran deal and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s comments this week that Israel is not obligated to whatever outcome there is of the negotiations. He said that since Israel is not a party to the Iran deal, the country will maintain freedom of action.
He said Israel will continue to be prepared.
Finally, they also talk with Jerusalem Post correspondent Yonah Jeremy Bob about former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial, which continued this week at the Jerusalem District Court.
Photo credit: Eli Kay, the 26-year-old South African oleh who was killed in a Hamas terrorist attack in the Old City of Jerusalem (Credit: Courtesy)
Virgin Atlantic‘s value added plus historic Jewish Charleston
The Jerusalem Post Podcast - Travel Edition, Episode 21
Virgin Atlantic has proved extremely popular with Israelis and Americans via its London hub. We hear how the airline creates remarkably-different flying experiences and take in its Clubhouse lounges.
Then it's over to Charleston, South Carolina to learn about one of the United States' oldest Jewish communities.
Photo credit: Courtesy
Shifting sands in the Middle East?
This week on The Jerusalem Post Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Yaakov Katz and Diplomatic Correspondent Lahav Harkov take a moment to discuss the shifting sands in the Middle East as Israeli generals have recently been photographed chatting alongside their Arab counterparts - scenes typically described as a rarity within the geopolitical landscape.
While the details of their conversations are left up to interpretation, Katz and Harkov give their own interpretations on what the interactions mean for the security of the Jewish State and Israel's standing throughout the Middle East, with regard to the views of its Arab neighbors.
Later on in the episode, Katz and Harkov discuss Israel's request for donor countries to restore their financial contributions to the Palestinian Authority, which have dropped by 85% over the last 13 years, and the effect it would have on the country with regard to the status quo and its status in the international arena.
To wrap up the episode, they speak with Israel's Ambassador to United Kingdom Tzipi Hotovely to discuss Israeli and British relations, as well as her brush with violent extremism, after she was evacuated from the London School of Economics (LSE) as students and other pro-Palestinian activists tried to attack her following a speaking engagement just last week.
Photo credit: Flash90 as seen on jpost.com
What‘s the story with Israel‘s COVID-19 vaccine? And does mental illness effect your work?
In this week's edition of The Jerusalem Post Health & Wellness podcast, Senior Health Analyst Maayan Hoffman and Health Correspondent Rossella Tercatin gather 'round the mics to take on the latest coronavirus news from Israel and beyond.
The Jerusalem Post got access to new data on the country's Brilife vaccine and it is looking very promising. The duo breaks down how the Israeli vaccine is made and why Brilife might last longer and even be more effective for inoculating individuals in poorer countries than the Pfizer jab
They then leave the topic of COVID and shift to diabetes. World Diabetes Day was Sunday and Hoffman reviews just how fast the disease is spreading in Israel and the world. They highlight a new project in Israel's North that hopes to help solve the crisis.
Finally, they look at the impact of mental health on work and question whether the new administration in general, and specifically Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, will really tackle the issue in Israel.
All this, and more, on this week's edition of the The Jerusalem Post Health & Wellness podcast.
Photo credit: Hadassah
Pretty good podcast, however, drop the extended background music. It’s really distracting and annoying
Drum Track NBD 🙂
I get excited for each new episode of this show, and its insights. Drum track and all 😀! I only wish they’d give us more episodes, more often. I *love * listening to Lahav and Jaakov (sp?). In fact, I dropped my subscription to TOI, because JPost does a better job, imo.
My only complaint is that the JPost Travel episodes need their own separate podcast (preferably a video podcast). Still great, though! - From a listener in CA, who visited Israel for a semester thru IBEX, back in 1997. And JPost was required reading (at the time)! P.S. Thanks for all the baseball enthusiasm 😀.
Great content, awful drum track
I want to listen. Insights are fantastic. But the incessant drum track in the background is extremely distracting. WHY? Who wants noise in their podcast?