The United States needs to rapidly deploy Covid-19 vaccines and step up its monitoring before highly contagious variants take hold or the virus mutates again and makes the pandemic worse, said Dr. Rochelle Wallinski, director of the CDC.
Three variables first identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil have caused some concern to researchers, according to a research opinion I wrote with White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. A CDC study published in January warned that the variant found in the UK, known as B.1.1.7, is likely to become the dominant strain circulating in the US by March.
Variable B.1.1.7 has proven highly transmissible, and “preliminary data indicate a possible increase in disease severity with infection,” Wallinski, Fauchi, and Dr. Henry Walk, director of Covid incidents at the CDC, write in The view was published Wednesday In the Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA.
Walensky told JAMA in a separate interview on Wednesday that the variant is thought to be 50% more transmissible than previous strains and early data suggests it could be over 50% more transmissible. Fought or fought.
“The modeling data demonstrated how a more contagious variant, such as B.1.1.7, has the potential to exacerbate the course of the US pandemic and reverse the current downward trend in new infections and further delay the control of the epidemic,” Walensky said in the paper.
To date, the United States has identified at least 1,277 cases of Covid-19 with variant B.1.1.7 From the United Kingdom, 19 cases of the P.1 variant, which were detected in South Africa, and three cases of the P.1 variant were found in Brazil, according to To recent data From the CDC.
Monitoring of the variants in a commercial laboratory in early February indicates that the nationwide prevalence of the B.1.1.7 variant is likely to approach 1%, although in some states the prevalence may exceed 2%, according to the newspaper.
However, the more the virus spreads and infects other people, the greater the chances of it mutating. This is part of the reason why global health experts have pushed people to double public health measures, such as social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing masks, until vaccines are deployed and residents can access so-called herd immunity.
Experts said the faster spread of the virus also means more people will need to be vaccinated to build an umbrella of immunity. In the United States, senior federal health officials wrote in their view, “The level of viral spread in the community should be” severely reduced “and Americans should postpone travel and avoid crowding to ensure that the variants do not continue to spread.
“The more they mutate, the more likely we are to see dominant variants that could actually emerge and become a problem for us,” Wallinski told JAMA. So the best thing we can do to prevent these diseases in general is to reduce the spread of disease and reduce the spread of the virus.
Monitoring is lacking
Wallinski said the nation’s response should not only address the variables found in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, but also be prepared to discover mutations that may arise locally.
The country’s infrastructure to conduct “genome sequencing” of variants in the United States is not yet equipped to detect circulating strains.
The CDC has partnered with public and commercial health labs to rapidly expand the nation’s genetic sequence. In January, the US was only arranging 250 samples a week for the variants, which has since grown “into the thousands,” Wallinski said. But she added, “We are not where we want to be.”
“It’s going to be a disk, not a key,” Wallinski said. “We need to call him.”
This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates.