The United States has detected two new variants of SARS-CoV-2 that are even more contagious than the one that appeared in Great Britain a few weeks ago. It is to the conclusion that North American researchers have reached, according to the conclusions published this Wednesday in a preliminary study.
The first of the strains has mutated in a similar way to the mutation that has spread across the UK, but the other is a variant that has not been seen to date and that in Columbus, the capital of the state of Ohio, it has become the dominant in just a few weeks.
Dan Jones, one of the participants in the study and professor of pathology at Ohio State University, has assured that “the Columbus strain has the genetic basis of similar cases we have studied, but it presents three mutations that would mean a very important evolution “.
Restricting mobility will not be enough to stop cases
The expert adds that this new variant increases the “transmissibility comparing with parent variants “and warns that measures such as restricting movement will not be sufficient to prevent the spread of this new strain.
These two new variants, according to research, have originated in mutations within the United States and not imported from other countries since March, when scientists began sequencing the virus, a very worthwhile endeavor that has been accelerated in recent weeks by seeing the prevalence of strains.
The research, which has yet to be reviewed by the scientific community like any other work of this nature, states that the coronavirus is in a phase of significant changes in its genetic composition and therefore it is still too early to determine the degree of contagion of the new strains detected.
Efficacy of already approved vaccines
Regarding whether already approved vaccines such as Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna will be effective against these variants, the participants in the work indicate that It is still too early to know if they respond or not, but they add that in the United States doses are being administered to the population at risk since December.
The appearance of these new strains was already predicted in early January by the White House working group, which warned that there could be an “American variant” looking at the rate of cases that the North American country registers daily. The United States is adding between 200,000 and 300,000 new positives daily, with mores 4,000 deaths each day.
WHO urgent meeting
These two new strains originated in the United States join the South African, the British and the two Brazilian ones that have appeared in recent weeks. Thus, The emergency committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) is going to meet this Thursday urgently to analyze these new variants, which concern the authorities around the world and which have also multiplied infections in almost all corners of the world. planet. The organization has brought forward the meeting of its committee of experts (which meet every three months) by two weeks because it argues that an “urgent debate” is necessary to address this situation.