How Are The Mutants Behaving
The variants of concern have all undergone changes to their spike protein – the part of the virus which attaches to human cells.
Delta has some potentially important ones that might make it spread more easily.
There is no evidence to indicate it causes more severe disease or might make current vaccines less effective, say UK officials.
One mutation, called N501Y, shared by the Alpha, Gamma and Beta, seems to make the virus better at infecting cells and spreading.
Beta and Gamma also have a key mutation, called E484K, that may help the virus sidestep some of the body’s immune defences.
Experts have found a small number of cases of Alpha with this change too.
Is The Delta Variant More Dangerous Than Other Variants Of Concern
According to surveys conducted in the U.K., where Delta accounts for ~90% of current COVID-19 cases, symptoms of Delta tend to be a little different than other strains, but that does not necessarily mean the associated symptoms are more severe. Fever, headache, sore throat and runny nose are common, while cough and loss of smell are not. Other reports link Delta to more serious symptoms, including hearing impairment, severe gastrointestinal issues and blood clots leading to tissue death and gangrene. Research is ongoing to determine if Delta infection is associated with increased hospitalization and death. One early study assessing the risk of hospital admission in Scotland reported that hospitalization is twice as likely in unvaccinated individuals with Delta than in unvaccinated individuals with Alpha.
Case numbers and hospitalizations are once again on the rise in the U.S., especially in states where vaccination percentages are low and the Delta variant is surging. On July 16, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 7-day average increase in new COVID-19 cases of 69.3% and a 35% increase in hospitalizations. Still, it is difficult to determine whether Delta is actually making people sicker than previous forms of the virus or if it is simply circulating amongst more vulnerable populations where case numbers are high, vaccination rates are low and increased stress on hospital systems is impacting patient care and disease outcomes.
What Is The Delta Variant Situation In The Us
The Delta variant is present in all 50 states and now accounts for 52% of new infections in the U.S., The Washington Post reported. In Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, it makes up about 80% of new cases.
Public health officials arenât yet sure how the Delta variant will ultimately affect the U.S., though it has led to more cases across the world, according to NBC News. Lockdowns and curfews have been put in place in Australia, Bangladesh, and South Africa, and new travel restrictions were set in Germany, Hong Kong, and Taiwan to reduce the number of flights from countries with widespread transmission.
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What Is The Epsilon Variant
The Epsilon variant, also known as B.1.427/B.1.429, was first detected in Southern California. Lab studies suggest that Epsilon has three mutations in the spike protein that may make COVID-19 treatments and vaccines less effective, according to a recent study published in Science. It has now been reported in more than 30 countries.
Epsilon has about 20% higher transmission, according to the CDC. It was downgraded from a âvariant of concernâ to a âvariant of interestâ on June 29 due to a decrease in cases across the U.S. and data that showed vaccines are effective.
Where Did The Delta Variant Come From
The Delta variant was first identified in India in December 2020 and led to major outbreaks in the country. It then spread rapidly and is now reported in 104 countries, according to a CDC tracker.
As of early July, Delta has become the dominant form of the coronavirus in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and other countries. In the U.K., for instance, the Delta variant now makes up more than 97% of new COVID-19 cases, according to Public Health England.
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Delta Is More Contagious Than The Other Virus Strains
One thing that is unique about Delta is how quickly it is spreading, says F. Perry Wilson, MD, a Yale Medicine epidemiologist. Around the world, he says, Delta will certainly accelerate the pandemic. The first Delta case was identified in , and the variant soon became the predominant strain of the virus in both India and then Great Britain. By the end of July, Delta was the cause of more than 80% of new U.S. COVID-19 cases, according to CDC estimates.
A July CDC report on Delta’s transmissibility came after an outbreak that occurred in Provincetown, Mass., after a crowded July 4 weekend, which quickly turned into a cluster of at least 470 cases. While the number of reported “breakthrough” cases in general has been very low in the U.S., three quarters of those infected in Provincetown were people who had been immunized. According to the CDC, even people with breakthrough cases carry tremendous amounts of virus in their nose and throat, and, according to preliminary reports, can spread the virus to others whether or not they have symptoms.
The CDC has labeled Delta a variant of concern, using a designation also given to the Alpha strain that first appeared in Great Britain, the Beta strain that first surfaced in South Africa, and the Gamma strain identified in Brazil.
Because of the math, it grows exponentially and more quickly, he says. So, what seems like a fairly modest rate of infectivity can cause a virus to dominate very quickly.
Stopping Transmission Is Key To Controlling Variants
Humanity has its hands full as the virus continues to mutate and evolve potential mechanisms to escape the immune defenses its hosts have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to develop. In addition to the variants of concern currently being monitored, researchers are keeping an eye on a number of variants of interest, including Lambda. When specific mutations become fixed in different virus lineages, it is evidence that natural selection may be occurring. According to Dr. Vaughn Cooper, ASMs Council on Microbial Sciences-elected Board Director and evolutionary biologist, stopping the virus is key. The more infections, the more chance that mutations will occur and thus the more likely selection will enrich the best mutations to improve the virus, he explained. Vaccination is the best weapon in the fight to curb transmission.
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How Dangerous Is The Delta Variant And Will It Cause A Covid Surge In The Us
A new, more transmissible form of SARS-CoV-2 is rapidly spreading in the country and poses a threat to unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people
The Delta variant is here. First identified in India, this more transmissible form of the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 77 countries and regions and now makes up more than 20 percent of all U.S. cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified it as a variant of concern. If vaccination rates fail to keep pace with its spread, experts say, the variant could lead to new COVID surges in parts of the country where a substantial proportion of the population remains unvaccinated.
It is the most hypertransmissible, contagious version of the virus weve seen to date, for sureits a superspreader strain if there ever was one, says Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine and an executive vice president at the Scripps Research Institution. The U.S. is poorly prepared, he says. Less than half of the nations population is fully vaccinatedand that number is much lower in some states, particularly in the South and Mountain West. Weve been warned three times by the U.K., Topol says, referring to previous surges in early 2020 and last winter. This time is the third warning.
*Editors Note : This sentence was updated with new information about the Delta variants prevalence in the U.S.
New Covid Super Strains Could Disrupt Life Again
Jan. 6, 2021 — After 10 months of masks, social distancing, virtual school, fear for vulnerable loved ones, and loneliness, this is the news no one wanted to hear: The virus that causes COVID-19 has changed — once again — in ways that make it more contagious.
At least one new âsuper strainâ of the virus is already in the U.S. Another highly contagious strain from South Africa could be on its way. As bad as things are now, experts believe these new strains are not responsible for the spike in cases seen in many states as people fall ill after holiday travel.
The strains are about 50% more contagious than the virus that has been most widely circulating in the United States, though it doesnât seem to be more fatal for any one person who catches it.
While that may seem reassuring, it could be disastrous on a wider scale. One public health expert believes the virus is changing itself to adapt and infect more people.
Another, Adam Kucharski, PhD, an associate professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who specializes in the math of infectious disease outbreaks, says the math shows the infectious strain will be more deadly.
This means that unless the U.S. adjusts its response to the pandemic, and adjusts quickly, hospitalizations and deaths could reach terrifying peaks in this country over the next few weeks as the variant strains cause a new wave of infections here.
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Does The New Coronavirus Strain Make People Sicker Or Does It Mean That Vaccines Wont Work Here Are The Answers To All Your Questions
There is growing alarm across the globe after scientists in UK described a newly identified variant of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious than, and genetically distinct from, more established variants.
The new variant is being called VUI-202012/01 – the first Variant Under Investigation” in the UK in December 2020. Even as scientists hunt for more information about the variant, its impact is already being felt the mutation has been linked to a recent surge in cases in UK, and several countries have imposed restrictions on travellers from the UK.
According to reports, the new variant of the Sars-Cov-2 could be up to 70 per cent more transmissible than the old variant. But there are still several unanswered questions that are multiplying as fast as new strain of the virus: Does it make people sicker or does it mean that treatments and vaccines wont work?
So lets take a look at what we know so far about the new Covid-19 strain:
What is a virus variant and why is there concern about the UK strain?
Mutation are changes that are common when a virus replicates within a host. This is because the replication is not perfect. Imperfect copies of the virus die out, but ever so often, a mutation could end up giving it properties that make it stronger or more infective.
When was the new strain found? What is worrisome about it?
Is the new coronavirus strain more contagious?
This New Covid Strain Is Up To 70 Percent Deadlier Study Finds
Researchers say this new variant may be leading to more deaths than previous strains.
It seemed we were hearing mostly good news about COVID in 2021, with the rollout of two effective vaccines and the trajectory of new cases headed downward for the first time in months. But then, new variants of the virus emerged and soon, the optimistic tone from doctors and public health officials started to shift. These new strains from the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil created serious concern, with experts initially unsure how transmissible they were, how deadly they were, and how they would respond to the newly created coronavirus vaccines and existing treatments. Unfortunately, new research just confirmed that those concerns were warranted: A study from the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group has found that one COVID strain may be up to 70 percent deadlier than previous coronavirus variants. Read on to find out which variant could lead to more pandemic deaths and for more news about the virus, see why Dr. Fauci Says These Are the COVID Symptoms That Don’t Go Away.
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New Virus Variant Covid
- Vanessa Chalmers, Digital Health Reporter
- 10:41 ET, Aug 23 2021
A NEW variant dubbed Covid-22 could be more deadly than the world-dominating Delta, an expert has warned.
Immunologist Professor Doctor Sai Reddy said we have to prepare for a new emerging variant in 2022 that could pose a big risk.
The Zurich-based scientist warned it was inevitable that concerning variants that already exist – like Delta , Beta and Gamma will combine to make a strain more capable.
Prof Reddy said: Covid-22 could get worse than what we are witnessing now.
If such a variant appears, we have to recognize it as early as possible and the vaccine manufacturers have to adapt the vaccine quickly.
“The emergence of this new variant is the big risk. We have to prepare for it.
Speaking to German newspaper Blick, Prof Reddy said Delta was the most contagious variant of all – what he named “Covid-21”.
But it has not got escape mutations, which are genetic features that help it to dodge the immune system.
Escape mutations, seen in some variants such as Beta, mean vaccines become less effective, and may need to be tweaked in order to protect the population.
Prof Reddy said a combination of these factors – either more deadly, transmissible or immune evading – would be a problem in the near future.
He said: It is the next phase of the pandemic when Beta or Gamma become more infectious or Delta develops escape mutations. That will be the big problem for the coming year.
‘south African Strain Also Concerning’
Speaking to Today, Dr Fauci, said: The data has not come out officially but taking a look at the preliminary data that the UK scientists have analyzed,
“I’m pretty convinced that there is a degree of increase in the seriousness of the actual infection which we really have to keep an eye on.”
But he said he was more concerned about the South African variant because it could make antibodies and vaccines less effective.
Some experts in Britain believe this strain could be more dangerous than the original one as well as the Kent variant.
I’m pretty convinced that there is a degree of increase in the seriousness of the actual infection
Dr Anthony Fauci
Scientists on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group , who feed into the UK government advisory group SAGE, said some analysis on data in South Africa revealed “a hint of increased mortality”.
Moderna said today its vaccine was effective against new variants of the coronavirus that have emerged in Britain.
But it said appears to be slightly less protective against the variant discovered in South Africa.
The company is now developing a new form of the vaccine that could be used as a booster shot against that virus.
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What Does It Mean When Theres A New Variant Of Covid
A variant is a slightly different version of a virus. Viruses grow inside a persons body by making copies of themselves. Sometimes, these copies contain random differences, or mutations. Most of the time mutations dont change anything significant. Sometimes they harm a virus. And sometimes they help it.
If a mutated version of a virus survives, it can start spreading in a community. For example, every flu season, there are usually several strains of the flu going around.
Thats what were hearing about now with the new variants of COVID-19.
There Are Four Main Symptoms Associated With This Particular Strain
If you’re worried you may have come down with COVID due to the U.K. variant, you should pay extra attention to your symptoms. A January study from the U.K. government’s Office for National Statistics analyzed 6,000 COVID patients, discovering that the 3,500 patients who tested positive for B.1.1.7 were more likely to experience four particular symptoms when compared to those infected by other variants: cough, fatigue, muscles aches, and sore throat. And for more COVID red flags to be aware of, know that If You’re Over 65, You Could Be Missing This COVID Symptom, Study Says.
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Gamma: The P1 Lineage
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.
Coronavirus: Are There Two Strains And Is One More Deadly
Labs in China have produced covid-19 virus detection kits
Two strains of the new coronavirus are spreading around the world, according to an analysis of 103 cases. But the World Health Organization insists that there is no evidence that the virus has been changing. So how many strains are there, and why does it matter?
Viruses are always mutating, especially RNA viruses like this one, coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. When a person is infected with the coronavirus, it replicates in their respiratory tract. Every time it does, around half a dozen genetic mutations occur, says Ian Jones at the University of Reading, UK.
When Xiaolu Tang at Peking University in Beijing and colleagues studied the viral genome taken from 103 cases, they found common mutations at two locations on the genome. The team identified two types of the virus based on differences in the genome at these two regions: 72 were considered to be the L-type and 29 were classed S-type.
A separate analysis by the team suggests that the L-type was derived from the older S-type. The first strain is likely to have emerged around the time the virus jumped from animals to humans. The second emerged soon after that, says the team. Both are involved in the current global outbreak. The fact that the L-type is more prevalent suggests that it is more aggressive than the S-type, the team say.
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