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Science: COVID-19 variants in California may be more contagious and deadly
Science: COVID-19 variants in California may be more contagious and deadly. The situation in California, the United States is not good: the new coronavirus variant found here is spreading faster.
According to the latest preprint study published by the University of California, San Francisco, this virus is more infectious: on September 1, 2020, this mutated virus accounted for nearly 0% of infected people in California; and by 2021, 1 On the 29th, 50% of the new cases in California were caused by this mutant virus.
On February 23, local time, “Science” reported that laboratory research and epidemiological data showed that this newly discovered variant of the pandemic new coronavirus is not only easier to spread, but also appears to be more toxic. Patients infected by it are at higher risk of entering the intensive care unit and death.
Charles Chiu, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, said that this new coronavirus variant is worrying, and data shows that it is more infectious, more likely to cause severe symptoms, and can resist some neutralizing antibodies. Qiu Huayan said that this variant needs urgent follow-up investigation. The research has not yet been peer reviewed.
Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security, told Science that it is necessary to conduct a more detailed study of the mutated new coronavirus. But other virologists say that more data is needed before conclusions can be drawn. David OConnor, a virus sequencing expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that fewer than 10 ICU patients were admitted to the hospital in this study, and fewer than 10 patients died. If he is a reviewer, he hopes to obtain more data from more infected people to confirm this bold hypothesis.
In the study at the University of California, San Francisco, they collected virus samples from patients in 44 counties in California from September 1, 2020 to January 29, 2021, and sequenced 2,172 viral genomes. The newly discovered variant has two forms, which are labeled B.1.427 and B.1.429, which are slightly different.
The researchers also obtained the medical records of 324 COVID-19 patients in the medical centers and clinics under the University of California, San Francisco. Researchers adjusted the data based on age, gender, and ethnicity. They found that compared with patients carrying other variants of the new coronavirus, patients with this variant are 4.8 times more likely to enter the ICU, and the mortality rate is even higher. 11 times.
Other data indicate that this variant is more contagious. The researchers found that the amount of virus in the nose of patients infected with the mutant virus is about twice that of other new coronaviruses, which is an indicator of virus shedding, which means that it is more contagious in the population. In the laboratory, viruses engineered to carry the key mutations found in this variant are more efficient at infecting human cells and lung organoids. In a nursing home where this virus variant is prevalent, the virus spreads several times faster than the other four nursing homes caused by other new coronaviruses. William Hanage, a virus evolution expert at the Harvard School of Public Health, told Science that more and more evidence shows that the new coronavirus variant discovered in California is more likely to spread than other variants.
In laboratory studies, B.1.429 also affected the neutralization efficiency of neutralizing antibodies. Neutralizing antibodies extracted from the blood of people recovering from the COVID-19 when they encountered the mutant virus discovered in California, the neutralizing ability was four times lower than that of the original coronavirus. The neutralizing antibodies in people who were vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna’s mRNA vaccines were twice as effective when they encountered the new coronavirus mutant virus discovered in California. The researchers said that the degree of this reduction is more significant.
Robert Schooley, an infectious disease and virologist at the University of California, San Diego, spoke highly of the research conducted by the University of California, San Francisco, especially the high viral load in the nose of the infected person. He said that this is in line with his clinical observations that COVID-19 patients here in Southern California stay longer in the intensive care unit.
However, the number of cases is still not large enough, which is a flaw in this study. This makes it necessary to further expand the sample size statistically.
(source:SINA, reference only)