UK Covid-19 variant could be dominant United States strain by March: CDC

18 Janvier, 2021, 18:44 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
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According to a report in STAT News, the U.S. CDC warned on Friday that B117, the new COVID-19 variant, could become a dominant strain as soon as March. The variant has so far been detected in at least 10 states, with approximately 76 cases as of January 13, although the actual number is expected to be much higher.

"Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide either a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel or provide a positive test result and documentation from a licensed health care provider or public health official of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel".

B117, the new COVID-19 variant, was first detected in the United Kingdom. CDC believes that the daily cases will surge during the onset of spring.

"Multiple lines of evidence indicate that B.1.1.7 is more efficiently transmitted than are other SARS-CoV-2 variants".

There has been increasing concern globally as new coronavirus variants have been discovered in countries such as Britain South Africa and Brazil.

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The mutations might not only allow increased transmissibility but also affect the performance of some diagnostic RT-PCR assays and reduce susceptibility to neutralizing antibodies, the agency stated in its report. It is thought that people who got infected with the new variant develop higher levels of virus in their upper respiratory tracts. This could increase the number of persons overall who need clinical care, exacerbate the burden on an already strained health care system, and result in more deaths, it said.

There were some studies conducted also which revealed that the new variant of COVID-19 is 50 to 70 percent more transmissible.

The increased transmissibility of the variant warrants universal and increased compliance with mitigation strategies, including distancing and masking, the CDC said in a statement.

"Testing does not eliminate all risk", said Redfield, "but when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier, and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations".

New research suggests that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine can still protect against the mutation, as well as over a dozen other strains.

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