For a while now, the concerns for the vaccines and the new variants of COVID-19 have been the top priorities of the CDC and people across the globe. There are still mysteries surrounding these two subjects, but researchers and scientists are trying to shed new light on the matter. Today’s coronavirus news update will tell you all about it.
In This Article:
Coronavirus News Update: Is the New Variant a Threat?
Coronavirus News: New Findings
According to recent research, it is suggested that the new B.1.1.7 variant is more transmissible than the original COVID-19 variants found in 2019. Still, it doesn’t seem to be deadlier or with more severe symptoms.
One study, published in The Lancet Public Health, also found a low risk of reinfection with B.1.1.7 in people who had previously recovered from COVID infections. The B.1.1.7 strain has been reported to be the most dominant variant in the United States by the CDC. And it accounted for more than 30 percent of cases in the various states.
However, B.1.1.7 is not the only new, more infectious version to have emerged in recent months. According to the CDC, the other “variants of concern” include a variant discovered in South Africa (B.1.351) and a variant discovered in Brazil (P.1).
Respectively, both the P.1 and B.1.351 have been found in the U.S after they invaded Brazil and Africa.
Experts believe B.1.1.7 is circulating in the United States because it is more infectious than the initial strains. It’s quite possible that B.1.1.7 had a head start in the United States, effectively edging out the other more contagious versions before they could take off.
Coronavirus News: Counter Measures for This New Threat
According to the chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. John Brownstein, B.1.1.7 could spread quickly when it arrived in the world prior to mandatory immunization. And healthcare professionals aren’t sure why various viral variants are more infectious than the rest.
One theory is that they contain a larger viral load, which means that they can produce higher amounts of virus in your nose, increasing the virus’s ability to spread. It’s also true that these strains are effective at entering or latching onto cells, which means that anybody who comes into contact with the virus is more likely to become infected.
An immunologist and associate professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Gigi Grovall said the good news is that until now, the public health restriction and current vaccines seem to be effective against the B.1.1.7 variant.
Though the public health policies such as social distancing, good ventilation, wearing face covers, etc., are effective, it’s still a race against time with vaccination. These new variants are a lot more transmissible, dulling the effects of the vaccines.
According to Dr. Brownstein, in the future, it’s possible that specialized booster shots can provide greater protection against the new variants which emerge in the years ahead. As we can’t control how the virus spreads or how it’s evolving, it’s essential to have booster shots.
Do you have any experience relating to COVID-19? Share your story in the comment section below!