For weeks, the mood has been buoyant in many parts of the United States. Cases, hospital admissions and deaths from coronavirus have fallen far below their level, and millions of people are being vaccinated every day. Restaurants, shops and schools have reopened. Some states, such as Texas and Florida, have abandoned the precaution.
In a measurable way, Americans are winning the war against coronavirus. Powerful vaccines and an accelerated rollout, but in general – in the back yard, summer camp and sleepover are guaranteed to return eventually.
But it is increasingly clear that the next few months will be painful. The so-called types spread, causing mutations that make the coronavirus more contagious and in some cases more deadly.
Vaccines were authorized late last year, highlighting the path to an end to the epidemic, with variables plaguing Britain, South Africa and Brazil. New variants continue to pop up – in a week in California, in New York and later in Oregon. As they take root, these newer versions of the coronavirus threaten to put an end to the epidemic.
At the moment, most vaccines seem to be effective against variants. But public health officials are deeply concerned that future recurrences of the virus may be more resistant to the immune response, with Americans having to queue for booster shots or even regular rounds of new vaccines.
“We have no development,” said Devi Sridhar, a public health professor at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. “These pathogens always seem to be changing in a way that makes it difficult for us to suppress.”
Health officials acknowledge the urgent need to track down the new virus as it crawls across the United States. Already, B.1.1.1, a highly contagious type that encircles Britain’s walls and wreaks havoc on continental Europe, is growing rapidly in the United States.
More than 12,500 cases have been reported in limited genetic testing, many in Florida and Michigan. As of March 13, the variant accounted for about 27 percent of new cases nationwide, up from just 1 percent in early February.
The Biden administration has promised a ડાઉન 200 million “down payment” to increase surveillance, with the aim of analyzing samples of 25,000 patients per week for virus types. That’s an ambitious goal: the country was following just a few hundred samples per week in December, then will be scaling to about 9,000 per week by March 27th.
Researchers say that the recent rise in B1..1..7 has been camouflaged by a reduction in the rate of infection above all else, leading Americans into a false sense of security and banning premature relaxation, the researchers say.
“The best way to think about B1.1.7 and other types is to think of them as separate epidemics,” said Sebastian Funk, professor of infectious disease dynamics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “We’ll really blur the vision by adding them all up to give the overall number of cases.”
Other known species in South Africa and Brazil, as well as some virus versions first seen in the United States, are slow to spread. But, they are also worrisome, as there are changes that reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. Just this week, an outbreak of P1, which crushed the variant Brazil, forced the closure of the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in British Columbia.
The world is caught up in the sprint between vaccines and variants and will eventually win the shot, scientists say. But because each infection gives the coronavirus an opportunity to develop even more, vaccination in the United States and other places should proceed as quickly as possible.
Infections are on the rise again, leading to an indefinite degree by B1.1.7 and other types. Earlier this week, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Valensky urged Americans to continue practicing masking and social distance, and said she “feels the feeling of the coming doom.”
“We have a lot to look forward to – so much promise and potential and so much reason for hope where we are.” “But right now I’m scared.”
‘More contagious for more days’
The coronavirus was thought to be slow to change shape. Like all viruses, it will mutate and evolve into thousands of species, scientists said at the start of the epidemic. But that won’t change significantly over the years – a stupid virus, some call it.
The pathogen ignored those predictions. “We didn’t expect much to happen quickly,” said Dr. Imrul, a viral immunologist at the University of Washington in St. Louis.
A variable only worries if it is more contagious, causing a more serious disease or weakening the immune system. Variables known in Britain, South Africa, Brazil and California, all fit the same criteria.
B.1.1.7, the first to come to widespread attention, is estimated to be about 60 percent more contagious and 67 percent more deadly than the original form of the virus, according to recent estimates.
Katrina Lithgo, an evolutionary biologist at Oxford University, said the origin of how it spreads did not vary, but infected people carried more viruses and longer. “You’re more contagious for more days,” he said.
B.1..7. is contagious that Britain managed to eradicate the infection only after a strict investment order of about three months plus an aggressive vaccination program. However, the number of cases was much slower than the number of cases during the same lockdown in March and April.
In continental Europe, there has been a wave of B1.1..7 cases for months, largely unnoticed following a persistent trend of infection. The variant wave is now cresting.
Poland’s daily rate of new cases has doubled since mid-February, forcing most public places to close. Germany has doubled its ban on night gatherings in Berlin.
In France, where B1.1..7 causes three-quarters of new infections, coronavirus patients have had to move to Belgium to free their beds in some hospitals. As many as a year ago, more people were dying every day in Europe than Kovid-19.
For a long time, government officials ignored the threat. Carl Pearson, a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said case plates could mask the emergence of new types. “And it’s as high as a plateau. The problem is worse.”
In the United States, coronavirus infections began to decline rapidly in January, soon many state leaders will ask industries to reopen and ease restrictions. But scientists have repeatedly warned that the drop will not last. Some states – especially Michigan – began to see excitement after the rate exceeded about 1,000 cases and 150,000 deaths in mid-March.
Since then, the national numbers have steadily increased. As of Saturday, the daily count was about 69,000, and the weekly average was 19 percent higher than the previous two-week figure.
Even when cases were declining, researchers questioned the notion that vaccination was the cause. Millions of Americans are vaccinated every day, but now only 31 percent have received a single dose of the vaccine, and only 17 percent of the population has full protection, making the vast majority vulnerable.
“The fact is that we’re still in a situation where we don’t have enough vaccinated people,” said Christian Andersen, a virologist at Scripps Research in San Diego. “And if we, like Texas, say we’re done with Covid-19, B..1.1.7 will come and remind us that we’re not right. I have no doubt about that. ”
This type is particularly widespread in Florida, where the state lifted restrictions and initially did not see an increase. Officials from other states cited it as a reason to reopen. But now Florida’s infection rate is on the rise.
The variable can only be obscured by what scientists call ality. Chicago infections are usually rare in the spring in Florida, noted Sarah Kobe, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago. Coronavirus infection peaked in Florida last summer, as heat carried people indoors, and could do it again.
“I still don’t think we’re going out of the woods,” Dr. Kobe said, referring to the country on a large scale. “If we don’t have another wave in you this spring, then I’ll really fall, really worried about the fall.”
While most vaccines are effective against B.1.1.7, researchers are more concerned about other types that have a mutation called E484K. (Scientists often refer to it, aptly, as “eek.”)
This mutation has evolved independently in many forms around the world, suggesting that it gives the virus the benefit of powerful survival.
In a laboratory study, the Pfizer-Bioentech and Moderna vaccines appear to be slightly less effective against the variant B1.351 known in South Africa. That type includes a mutation, which suggests that the virus may partially bind to the body’s immune response. The vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Novavax was even less potent against B.1.351.
“I think for the next year or two, the E484K will be the most relevant,” said Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
The mutation slightly alters the so-called spike protein by sitting on the surface of the coronavirus, and makes it a little harder for antibodies to wipe out and destroy the invader.
The good news is that there are a few tricks to keeping the virus at bay, and it makes it easier for scientists to find and block that defense. “I feel very good about the fact that there aren’t many choices,” said Michelle Nussenzweig, an immunologist at Rockefeller University in New York.
Ike mutation seems to be the primary defense of the virus against the immune system. Researchers in South Africa recently reported that a new vaccine directed against B1.551 should prevent all other forms.
Pfizer, Bioentech and Moderna are already testing newly designed booster shots against the B1.351 that will work against any of the known types of immune control.
Instead of a new vaccine against variants, it would be just as effective for Americans to get a third dose of the Pfizer-bionetic or modern vaccine in six months to a year, said Dr. Anthony S. Fawcett said. Organization of allergies and infectious diseases.
It will keep antibody levels high in each recipient, overextending any variable – a more practical strategy than creating a special vaccine for a new variable to emerge, he said.
“My only concern about chasing all sorts is that you’re almost playing whack-a-mall, you know, because they’ll keep coming and going,” said Dr. Fawcett.
In one form or another, the new coronavirus is here to stay, many scientists believe. In the case of the common cold coronavirus and influenza, there may be several types circulating simultaneously in the country. Annual shots like the flu vaccine may be needed to keep them at bay.
The best way to prevent the emergence of dangerous forms is to keep the case down now and vaccinate as many people as possible – not just the United States, but most of the world. If significant pockets of the world remain unprotected, the virus will evolve in dangerously new ways.
“This could be something we have to deal with for a long time,” said Rosland Ego, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
However, she added, “Even if it changes again, which is very likely to happen, we are in a better, stronger position than we were a year ago to deal with it.”