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COVID-19 variants in US may be 11 times lethal than South Africa’s
COVID-19 variants in US may be 11 times lethal than South Africa’s. New variants of the new coronavirus also appear in the United States? Lethal or 11 times the variant found in South Africa…
Recently, although the number of newly diagnosed new coronavirus pneumonia in a single day in the United States has declined, multiple states of the new coronavirus have appeared variants of the new coronavirus, posing new challenges to the United States’ epidemic prevention and control.
According to CCTV News, citing several American media reports, researchers from Columbia University and California Institute of Technology in the United States recently reported that a new variant of the new coronavirus is spreading rapidly in New York City. It is said that this variant strain can evade the body’s natural immune response and may affect the effectiveness of the existing COVID-19 vaccine.
Another study showed that another variant of the new coronavirus that is raging in California may be “more contagious and more deadly.”
01 Variants found in New York may affect vaccine efficacy
According to a report by the World Wide Web citing US media on the 25th, a research team from California Institute of Technology and Columbia University found that a new variant of the new coronavirus is spreading rapidly in New York City, which may weaken the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
This new variant, named B.1.526, first appeared in a sample collected from New York City in November last year. The researchers said that from late December last year to mid-February this year, the detection rate of this variant strain has been on the rise, especially in the past two weeks, it has risen to 12.7%. “Therefore, vigilance must be aroused.”
According to the report, researchers from California Institute of Technology and Columbia University published their research results on the Internet on the 23rd and 25th, respectively. At present, the results have not been published in scientific journals, but the report quoted experts as saying that a series of results show that the spread of this variant is real.
The Colombian researcher issued a statement saying that analysis of public databases showed that in samples from New York and surrounding areas, there were not many cases infected by the mutant strains found in South Africa and Brazil, but a large number of cases involving B.1.526 were found. Cases of infection with variant strains.
At present, the number of patients infected with this variant strain is rapidly increasing, not only has appeared in different communities in New York City, but has also been “dispersed in the northeastern part of the United States.”
“This is not very happy news.” said Nusenzweig, an immunologist at Rockefeller University. “But being able to understand it (the new variant) is also a good thing, because we can do something about it.”
The researchers said that the rapidly spreading mutant strain in New York “has similarities” with the mutant strains found in South Africa and Brazil. Both have E484K mutations in the spike protein, which may help it escape. Attack of the immune system. In other words, this mutation causes the virus to have a certain degree of resistance to the vaccine.
02 The mutant strain found in California is easier to spread and more deadly
According to CCTV News, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and a non-profit organization based in San Francisco reported that the new coronavirus variants previously discovered in California may be more contagious and more deadly.
The researchers labeled the mutant strain as B.1.427 and B.1.429. Although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has not yet clearly defined the mutant strain, the researchers pointed out that this mutant strain is worrying, and the data shows that it is It is more contagious, is more likely to cause severe symptoms, and can resist partial neutralizing antibodies. Patients infected by it have a higher risk of developing severe illness or even death.
According to a new study by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), this mutant strain has a higher viral load, which may mean that the patient is particularly infectious and therefore more likely to spread the virus, although this is still under surveillance . Scientists have not yet fully confirmed the risk of infection of this mutant strain in the real world: Is it really more infectious, or is it just because of a large spread caused by a super-spreading event?
In this new study, the researchers analyzed 2,172 virus samples collected in California from September 2020 to January 2021. They found that this mutation had not been detected in September last year. As of November last year, in the genetic sequencing of positive samples, the proportion of the mutant strain was 16%; by the end of January this year, the mutant strain was The proportion has accounted for a staggering 53%. It has become the main spreading virus in California, which is equivalent to doubling the number of infections every 18 days.
Laboratory studies have found that the ability of B.1.427/B.1.429 to infect human cells has increased by 40%. The viral load of human nasal or throat swabs infected by this virus is twice that of those infected with other viruses. Therefore, this may mean that people infected with this virus are more transmissible than other infected people.
California researchers also said that the virus spreads at least as fast as other mutations that have occurred recently, and its lethality may be 11 times that of the variant found in South Africa. There are also some small studies claiming that there were 12 deaths among 300 B.1.427/B.1.429 infected persons, and the death rate was higher than that of people infected with other viruses, so this mutant strain is more lethal than other viruses. But the sample size is too small to be statistically significant.
However, William Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard’s Chen School of Public Health, believes that the mutant strain reported in California is less threatening than other mutant viruses. He said that other mutant viruses have appeared widely in many regions. For example, the B.1.1.7 reported in the United Kingdom will soon become the dominant virus in one region, but the virus strain reported in California does not seem to appear in other regions of the United States or other countries. .
Another study supports Hanage’s view, which stated that the transmission rate of B.1.1.7 is 45% higher than that of the original virus, while the transmission rate of B.1.427/B.1.429 may be “only” 24% higher than the original virus. .
In the coming weeks, California will further analyze B.1.427/B.1.429 and compare its risks with other mutant strains.
03 Race against virus mutation
According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of the 23rd local time, nearly 2,000 cases of mutated new coronavirus infections have been reported across the United States. According to a study recently released by the center, the new coronavirus variant found in the UK may become the most important variant of the new coronavirus in the United States in March. According to US government data, the first case of the COVID-19 variant from South Africa was discovered in the United States in January, and has since appeared in 14 states.
In fact, vaccine manufacturers are working hard to develop enhanced vaccines to cope with the continuous mutation of the virus.
According to British media reports, on February 24, local time, Moderna said that it had produced the first doses of the new coronavirus vaccine to better help people defend against new strains of the new coronavirus. And said that this new virus strain has shown some resistance to Moderna’s original vaccine.
Moderna said that because the new coronavirus variants are more resistant to existing vaccines, several possible methods are being tested against the new variants of the virus. A booster vaccine has been produced to deal with the first discovery in South Africa. Variants of the virus. And said that the vaccine has been shipped to the National Institutes of Health for the first human study, and the study may begin within a few weeks.
It is understood that in response to the weakening of the protective efficacy of the vaccine against new variants of the new coronavirus, Moderna has envisaged three possible vaccine improvements that can better protect people from this strain. At present, Moderna has begun testing one of the vaccines, adding the third shot of its first two doses, but the dose is lower.
The second method is to provide the new vaccine as a booster to those who have received two doses of the original vaccine. The third method is a “multivalent” booster, which combines Moderna’s original vaccine with a vaccine against mutations into a single injection. The company said that Moderna will also explore the provision of both vaccines for people who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine.
On the other hand, Pfizer also announced that it is testing a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which will be injected 6 to 12 months after the patient’s two-dose course. Pfizer and BioNTech said on Thursday that the trial will study whether the booster injection of their COVID-19 vaccine can deal with any emerging strains. The study will use participants in its Phase 1 trial in the United States “in order to prepare for any potential strain changes in the future.”
Pfizer said it has not seen any evidence that its current vaccine cannot protect the new COVID-19 mutant strain. The test is just to prepare to prevent the virulent strains from becoming resistant to the vaccine.
“The flexibility of our proprietary mRNA vaccine platform allows us to develop an enhanced vaccine within a few weeks when technically needed,” BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said in a statement. “We are taking these measures to ensure long-term immunity to the virus and its variants.”
Earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. is purchasing sufficient doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to cover 300 million people in the U.S. by the end of July–though this does not mean that everyone will be there by then. vaccination.
“We have now purchased enough vaccine supplies to vaccinate all Americans,” Biden said. It may actually take longer to vaccinate all Americans because vaccination is administered at the state and local levels.
(source:internet, reference only)