Passengers from all over Europe and Britain were stopped on Sunday in an effort to keep off a highly contagious new strain of coronovirus that is spreading rapidly in England.
The British government said that the new version on Saturday appeared to be spreading 70% faster than the earlier variants and accounted for the increase in London and surrounding areas. Recorded cases in the UK increased by 51% over the week before Sunday.
The emergence of the version presents a serious setback to suppress the epidemic before new vaccines are introduced across the country, suggesting major restrictions will continue into the new year. There is no evidence yet that the new version will cause more serious infections or neutralize vaccines, British scientists say, but there are concerns that it will make the spread of the virus less likely, even a Even with the vaccine.
Viruses mutate constantly and scientists are constantly on the alert for new mutations that may affect the behavior of the virus. New tensions have not been identified in America
The British government imposed a new lock on the affected areas, including the closure of all non-retail sector, and abandoned plans to allow a five-day Kovid-19 ban nationwide over Christmas, where three families Can be found
Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands and Belgium on Sunday announced a ban on passenger air travel from other UK countries. Other countries were considering similar steps in an effort to prevent the epidemic from worsening before Christmas. The US has not yet followed suit.
The top US official overseeing the coronovirus trial said he did not expect a quick US ban on UK travel.
“I really don’t believe we need to do that yet,” Adam Brett Girir said on ABC News’ “This Week”. The admiral said the new virus mutation was localized within the UK, adding, “We have not yet seen a (virus) mutation that would exclude it from the vaccine.”
The US State Department currently recommends reconsidering travelers going to the UK, while the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against going there.
The European Center for Disease Control said on Sunday that there have been some cases of new tensions in Denmark, the Netherlands and possibly Belgium as well.
Similar variants of the virus appear differently elsewhere. In South Africa, a new version that shows some similarities to the one identified in the UK is driving a second wave of infection across the country, according to the country’s Ministry of Health and Virologists.
Minister of State for Health Zweli Makhaik said in a news briefing on Friday that a genomics team has identified a variant called 501.V2, which has dominated the samples in the last two months.
“We are finding between 80 and 90% of the virus, it is a 501.V2 mutant,” Salim Abdul Karim, an infectious disease epidemiologist and director of the Research Center for AIDS Program in South Africa, briefed.
British scientists identified and recorded the new version as part of a broader effort to track mutations in the virus.
The Kovid-19 Genomics UK consortium, which brings together universities, medical research institutes and public health agencies, has initiated the genetic makeup of around 150,000 virus samples taken from infected individuals. Their findings are uploaded to a global initiative called GISAD, a massive database that collects similar data from scientists around the world. The UK is its largest contributor, producing more than half of its 275,000 submissions so far.
The features of the new edition were outlined in a scientific paper written by researchers involved in the consortium and published online on Friday. The variant was first spotted in two virus samples collected in Kent, south-east of London, and in the capital in late September. By mid-December, scientists had sequenced the genome of more than 1,600 virus samples belonging to the same peculiar lineage.
What’s unusual, scientists report, is the number of mutations this new version displays. Viruses replicate quickly and mutations are the result of small errors in copying the genetic code. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, more than 1,000 different types of coronaviruses that have caused Kovid-19 have been identified. Most are infallible.
This type of pathogen, known as VUI202012 / 01 in the GisAID database, contains 17 different mutations, and 23 if additional mutations that do not serve a function. The most notable is the virus’s spike protein, which dots the virus’s surface and is the means by which it breaks into a host’s cells. One of the mutations, known as N501Y, is associated with increased infectivity in animal experiments. Another has been linked to an improvement in the virus’ ability to enter certain cells in a host’s airway.
It is the rapid pickup in cases of the new version, along with these unusual genetic characteristics, that led British scientists to alert the government, the World Health Organization and the wider world about their findings last week. Data from variants have been shown for more than 60% of recent cases in London, compared to about a quarter of a month ago.
A group of scientists, who advise the UK government, is known by the familiar Enervatag, which is estimated from genomic data that the new variant is between 67% and 75% compared to older and more established strains, which 18 As of the meeting published on December. Sunday.
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Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at Kovid-19, England’s public health agency, said Sunday there would be no reason to be resistant to the current crop of vaccines being ceremonially produced in the US, Canada, Britain and some other countries. Countries. The goal of the vaccine is to trigger a widespread immune response that teaches the body to recognize the entire spike protein of the virus, so small mutations should not occur to prevent it, she said.
Nor does it appear more dangerous. Dr. “We are not seeing the number of people hospitalized for the past two weeks and we are not seeing any increase in mortality,” Hopkins said in an interview with Sky News. Nervtag said that four deaths in 1,000 cases have been linked to the new variant, and more work is needed to compare the lethality rate in different strains.
A more contagious version, if it became widespread, could complicate vaccination efforts in other ways, scientists say. Nervtag estimates the new variant may have a reproductive value – the average number of infected individuals infected between 0.39 to 0.93 compared to the established strains. This would mean that a high proportion of the population would need to be immunized to gain herd immunity, the extent to which enough people are resistant to a virus to prevent it from finding enough new hosts to spread.
Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said the reproductive value for coronoviruses would increase from about 3.4 to 3, up from the current estimate of 3 to 70% of the original estimate for herd immunity.
Hunter cautioned that we still do not know if herd immunity is achievable anyway, as it is unclear how long the resistance conferred by the vaccine or prior infection lasts. “But what I can say with confidence is that this new variant will also control with a less effective vaccine. More people who choose not to vaccinate are more likely to get infected, suffer from serious illness and potentially die otherwise this would be the case.
Another question is whether this version is difficult to detect using standard tests for viruses.
Babak Javid, associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, said the mutations actually help researchers track the spread of the variant in the UK. The standard polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests to house a coronavirus in three segments of the virus genome. One of those signals fails with the new version. He stated that two-thirds of the results in laboratory results have become a telling indication of this specific version.
Alexandra Wexler in Johannesburg and Warren P. in Washington. Strobel contributed to this article.
Write Daniel Michaels at d[email protected] and Jason Douglas at jason.douglas.ws.com
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