Global Statistics

All countries
620,178,414
Confirmed
Updated on September 25, 2022 5:41 pm
All countries
598,749,055
Recovered
Updated on September 25, 2022 5:41 pm
All countries
6,540,217
Deaths
Updated on September 25, 2022 5:41 pm

Global Statistics

All countries
620,178,414
Confirmed
Updated on September 25, 2022 5:41 pm
All countries
598,749,055
Recovered
Updated on September 25, 2022 5:41 pm
All countries
6,540,217
Deaths
Updated on September 25, 2022 5:41 pm
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How Many Variants Of Covid-19 Are There

What You Need To Know About Variants

How many COVID-19 variants are there?

About the Delta Variant: Vaccines continue to reduce a persons risk of contracting the virus that cause COVID-19, including this variant. Vaccines are highly effective against severe illness, but the Delta variant causes more infections and spreads faster than earlier forms of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants persist. Numerous variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are being tracked in the United States and globally during this pandemic.

What Do The Variants Mean For Vaccines

We need to get as many people vaccinated with the current vaccine that we have as we possibly can and prepare for the potential eventuality that we might have to update this vaccine sometime in the future. Fauci in January

As more significant variants are reported, the obvious question is whether the vaccines will work on them. Some of the mutations have sparked particular concern because they affect the spikes on the virus, which is what the vaccines target.

In short, the pharmaceutical companies are testing new variants against their vaccines and spinning up new trials. Moderna and Pfizer can update their vaccines quickly because of their mRNA technology, which can be reprogrammed to target new variants.

A growing number of scientists anticipate that we will eventually need something similar to the annual flu shot companies will periodically update their vaccines to match the prevalent coronavirus variants, and we will need to get boosters to stay protected.

With flu, we need to adapt the vaccines. We can see that already, said Gupta, the professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Cambridge. The companies do realize there is a problem in the longer term, and they will deal with it just as we have done with flu every year.

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How Fast Is The Variant Spreading

Omicron has spread rapidly in South Africa, to the alarm of researchers worldwide. On 1 December, the country recorded 8,561 cases compared with a total of 3,402 reported on 26 November. In mid-November, only a few hundred cases were noted. South Africas National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg confirmed that Omicron is spreading quickly.

Tom Wenseleers, an evolutionary biologist at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, estimates that Omicron can infect three to six times as many people as Delta, over the same time period. Thats a huge advantage for the virus but not for us, he told the journal Nature.

When the Delta variant began its rapid spread in the UK, case numbers doubled roughly every five days. Scientists are now carefully monitoring Omicron cases to determine how swiftly the variant is affecting the population of Britain.

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If The Power Of Previous Infection To Protect People Is Reduced How Might Vaccines Fare Against The Variant

If previous questions raised fairly worrying responses from scientists, most are more optimistic about the power of jabs to safeguard people from Omicron. It is extremely unlikely this variant will evade vaccines completely, said Prof Peter Openshaw of Imperial College London. The vaccines we have are remarkably effective against a range of other variants but we need more lab and real world data to determine the degree of protection in those vaccinated.

What Is A Variant How Does It Happen

Variants raise Covid

While the existence of new variants may be worrisome to the general public, the phenomenon is “not entirely unexpected,” Ben Lopman, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology at Emory University’s school of public health in Atlanta, told TODAY.

“Viruses spread by replicating themselves … and that replication process is imperfect,” he explained. “The virus makes mistakes sometimes. Most of those mistakes are useless or will kill the virus. Rarely but sometimes, one of those mistakes will be beneficial. It could, for example, make the virus more easy to transmit from person to person by changing its genetics in some way.”

The U.K. variant in particular, aka Alpha, which the CDC estimates has 50% increased transmission, seems to replicate more efficiently, Lopman said. This could mean that infected people are “actually producing more of the virus or shedding the virus at somewhat higher levels, and that might be what makes it more transmissible,” he added.

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How Do Variants Happen

Coronaviruses have all their genetic material in something called RNA . RNA has some similarities to DNA, but they arent the same.

When viruses infect you, they attach to your cells, get inside them, and make copies of their RNA, which helps them spread. If theres a copying mistake, the RNA gets changed. Scientists call those changes mutations.

These changes happen randomly and by accident. Its a normal part of what happens to viruses as they multiply and spread.

Because the changes are random, they may make little to no difference in a persons health. Other times, they may cause disease. For example, one reason you need a flu shot every year is because influenza viruses change from year to year. This years flu virus probably isnt exactly the same one that circulated last year.

If a virus has a random change that makes it easier to infect people and it spreads, that variant will become more common.

The bottom line is that all viruses, including coronaviruses, can change over time.

Continued

The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Things To Know

Travel restrictions and lockdowns.The U.S. is requiring international travelers to provide proof of a negative test taken no more than a day before their flights. In Europe, where Germany has already announced tough restrictions on unvaccinated people, worries of new lockdowns loom.

New York Citys new mandate.Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a sweeping vaccine mandate for all private employers in New York City to combat the spread of the Omicron variant. It is unclear if the incoming mayor, Eric Adams, intends to enforce the mandate.

He said it was too late to make a material difference to the course of the Omicron wave.

So far, the British government has told the public to proceed as usual with their holiday plans, though it has urged people to get booster shots. Dominic Raab, Britains deputy prime minister, called that the surest defense in a BBC interview on Sunday.

Our message is this: Enjoy Christmas this year, he said. The vaccine rollout means were in a position to do so.

Henrik Ullum, head of Denmarks public health agency, said he now expects the variant to spread locally, given that 183 people already tested positive.

There are now ongoing infection chains, he said in a statement, where the Omicron variant is seen among people who have not been traveling or had connections with travelers.

European countries have taken steps to curb social contacts in recent days amid an overall surge in cases.

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The Vaccines Can Be Updated To Be More Effective

Research continues on all the vaccines. If necessary, future COVID-19 vaccines may need to be tweaked, not unlike what happens with the flu vaccine every year. All vaccine manufacturers are continuing to study the effectiveness of the vaccines and are already looking at what a booster might look like down the road.

Spike In Omicron Variant Cases Puts Europe On Edge

Why so many Covid-19 variants are showing up now

With cases of the Omicron variant rising in Europe, there are worries that even tougher restrictions are looming over a holiday period that many had hoped would be a return to some normalcy.

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By Megan Specia and Isabella Kwai

LONDON Confirmed cases of the Omicron variant surged in Britain and Denmark on Sunday, backing up scientists fears that it has already spread more widely despite travel bans and adding to worries of new lockdowns before the holidays.

The coronavirus variant has been found in at least 45 nations worldwide, with the United States and much of Europe reporting a number of new cases in recent days.

On Sunday, Britains health security agency confirmed that it had now detected 246 cases of the variant nearly double the total number of cases reported on Friday. In Denmark, the local health authorities confirmed that there were 183 known cases of the variant, more than triple the total number of suspected cases reported on Friday, and called the figures worrying.

Still, the announcements make clear that the number of Omicron cases is rising quickly. What that might mean for public health remains less clear.

And at the moment, scientists say there is no reason to believe Omicron is impervious to existing vaccines, although they may turn out to be less protective to some unknown degree.

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Types Of Covid Variants

Variants that are labeled as variants being monitored by SIG either are potentially or clearly worse than the original coronavirus. They may be linked to more severe disease or increased transmission, or vaccines and treatments may be less effective against them. However, they are either no longer being detected or are being detected at very low levels in the U.S.

Some variants are considered variants of interest. These variants could be worse than the original coronavirus, but health authorities arent quite sure yet. They might have genetic markers that could change transmission, diagnostics, treatment, or the virus ability to evade the immune system. Or they may be suspected to cause more severe disease or increase transmissibility. But these variants arent prevalent. In other words, the authorities are tracking these variants because they could potentially become a problem, but they arent an issue at the moment. There are currently no variants of interest as classified by SIG.

As a step up, the SIG classifies some as variants of concern. There is evidence that these variants are worse for diagnostics, treatments, or vaccines, or that theyre more transmissible or cause more severe disease. Basically, theyre confirmed as more dangerous, although they may or may not be widely prevalent.

So which variants do you actually need to worry about? Here is your cheat sheet to every variant on the U.S. watchlist right now.

How Might People In High

Again, it is too early to be sure how the variant might affect the elderly or other members of high-risk groups. However, some scientists have voiced concerns. The big issue is the elderly population, said Kao.

Over the past few months, this variant has been circulating in younger age groups, because theyre the ones who are relatively unprotected. However, the variant may shift its profile to infect more older people, who we know are more vulnerable to severe infection for the other variants. The reasoning is straightforward. If the variant is able to evade the immune response of young people, then the built-up immunity in the elderly due to high levels of vaccination combined with natural infection will be less meaningful. That, obviously, is a real worry.

Even before Omicron appeared, we were facing the danger that rising numbers of cases could overload the health service. It was so finely tuned. In addition, there is still a prospect of serious seasonal flu returning to increase the burden on hospitals. So any shift towards increased transmissibility, a shifting of age profiles, vaccine evasion, or more severe disease, will put us in a more dangerous situation. Short-term indicators will be helpful but it will probably be a little while before we are able to rule out worse scenarios.

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Delta Variant From India

This variant is believed to have first emerged in India in October 2020. It’s since spread to the U.S. and currently accounts for more than 6% of sequenced cases in the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci said at a recent news briefing. It also has increased transmissibility compared to other variants, according to the World Health Organization.

Gamma: The P1 Lineage

The different types of COVID

A variant known as 20J/501Y.V3 is from the P.1 lineage, an offshoot of the larger B.1.1.28 lineage.

The variant was first reported in Japan, in four people who contracted P.1 on a trip to Brazil. The lineage, also known as Gamma, emerged in late 2020 in Manaus, the largest city in Brazils Amazon region. It quickly became the predominant variant there and in several other South American cities.

P.1 is a close relative of the B.1.351 lineage, and it has some of the same mutations on the coronavirus spike protein. It may be able to overcome the immunity developed after infection by other variants.

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Virus Variant in Brazil Infected Many Who Had Already Recovered From Covid-19· March 2

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How Do We Stop The New Delta Variant

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said last weekend that the world needs to research the subtype quickly in order to stop it from spreading too fast.

  • We need urgent research to figure out if this delta plus is more transmissible, has partial immune evasion, Gottlieb said in a tweet.
  • Theres no clear indication that its considerably more transmissible, but we should work to more quickly characterize these and other new variants. We have the tools.

Alpha: The B117 Lineage

This group of coronaviruses came to light in Britain, where it was named Variant of Concern 202012/01. The variant is also known as 20I/501Y.V1, or simply called B.1.1.7. On June 1, 2021, the World Health Organization introduced a new naming system based on Greek letters. They named B.1.1.7 Alpha.

Coronaviruses from the B.1.1.7 lineage are thought to be 30 to 50 percent more infectious than other variants in circulation today. They are also likely to be more deadly, based on studies in Britain.

After its discovery in December, it quickly emerged in other countries and surged at an exponential rate. It is doubling in the United States every ten days. Preliminary evidence suggests that B.1.1.7 is about 55 percent more deadly than other variants. But testing suggests that vaccines still work well against it.

B.1.1.7 appears to be more infectious thanks to several mutations in its spike protein, which the coronavirus uses to attach to cells.

SGF 3675-3677

More Contagious Virus Variant Is Now Dominant in U.S., C.D.C. Chief Says· April 7

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How Many Coronaviruses Are There

Coronaviruses didnt just pop up recently. Theyre a large family of viruses that have been around for a long time. Many of them can cause a variety of illnesses, from a mild cough to severe respiratory illnesses.

The new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is one of several known to infect humans. Its probably been around for some time in animals. Sometimes, a virus in animals crosses over into people. Thats what scientists think happened here. So this virus isnt new to the world, but it is new to humans. When scientists found out that it was making people sick in 2019, they named it as a novel coronavirus. Experts call this strain SARS-CoV-2.

What Is The Delta Variant

Answering COVID variant questions: How many are there? How are they being found?

There are thousands of different types – or variants – of Covid circulating across the world. One of them, known as Delta or B.1.617.2, appears to be spreading quickly in many countries including the UK, where it has become the dominant variant.

The UK classes Delta as a “variant of concern” – these are kept under the closest watch by health officials.

Other current variants of concern also include:

  • Alpha , first identified in the UK but which spread to more than 50 countries
  • Beta , first identified in South Africa but which has been detected in at least 20 other countries, including the UK
  • Gamma , first identified in Brazil but which has spread to more than 10 other countries, including the UK

Viruses mutate all the time and most changes are inconsequential. Some even harm the virus. But others can make the disease more infectious or threatening – and these mutations tend to dominate.

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What Is The New Delta Variant

Scientists across the world are keeping their eyes on a new delta variant subtype titled AY.4.2, or delta plus according to some experts that has led to higher COVID-19 cases in England, per Business Insider.

  • AY.4.2 is a subtype of the delta variant, which has been spreading rapidly around the world for much of 2021.

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The delta COVID variant is stronger than the mu and lambda variants, experts say

Will Current Boosters Improve Protection Against Omicron

The threat of Omicron has prompted some rich countries, such as the United Kingdom, to accelerate and broaden the roll-out of COVID vaccine booster doses. But its not yet clear how effective these doses will be against this variant.

Third doses supercharge neutralizing-antibody levels, and its likely that this will provide a bulwark against Omicrons ability to evade these antibodies, says Bieniasz. His teams work on the polymutant spike found that people who had recovered from COVID-19 months before receiving their jabs had antibodies capable of blocking the mutant spike. To Bieniasz, those results suggest that people with repeated exposure to SARS-CoV-2s spike protein, be it through infection or a booster dose, are quite likely to have neutralizing activity against Omicron.

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How Are Vaccines Holding Up Against Variants

Researchers are working to figure out how effective the three Covid-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use in the US are at preventing infection from variants in real-world conditions where variant distribution and frequency constantly change. Several preliminary studies that have not yet been peer-reviewed suggest that these vaccines are still effective in preventing Covid-19-related serious infections and death.

No vaccine is perfect, however, and breakthrough Covid-19 infections are possible in those who are vaccinated. Older adults and those with immunocompromising conditions may be at increased risk to have these breakthrough infections.

Thankfully, fully vaccinated individuals generally experience milder Covid-19 infections. For example, a study analyzing Covid-19 cases in England estimated that two doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine are 93.7% effective in preventing symptomatic disease from the alpha variant and 88% effective from delta. A different study in Ontario, Canada, that is not yet peer-reviewed reported that the Moderna vaccine is 92% effective in preventing symptomatic disease from alpha.

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