A new Coronavirus strain is now spreading in California and seems to be more transmissible and dangerous as it heightens the risk of patients being admitted to ICU or even death. Let’s find out more about the new Coronavirus strain.
The contagious COVID variant comes in two forms but carries slightly different mutations.
Though research is still going on, the unpublished studies and the preprint that has not been peer-viewed yet suggest the variant to be more contagious than the actual Coronavirus strain.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco(UCSF) say that this variant of Coronavirus is also found in other states, but it is more prevalent in California.
Many experts view it as a “variant of concern” as the data shows it to be more contagious and more likely to cause severe illness.
Experts suggest that we need a closer look at this contagious COVID variant to understand and evaluate before getting to the conclusion.
Why Is the Variant More Prevalent in California?
The variant has been documented in 45 states and many other countries, but California is where it is found to have taken hold.
The 2000 samples collected by the researchers at the University of California, San Francisco show that the samples taken in September 2020 have no trace of the contagious COVID variant, however by the end of January, it was found in more than 50% of the samples.
The reason why it is more prevalent only in California is still unclear.
Over 200 cases of the variant first document in the U.K, have been recorded in California.
However, scientists say that this variant might not be as problematic as the highly transmissible strain found in the UK called B.1.1.7.
Is the New Variant More Contagious and Deadly?
Although this variant worsens people’s health conditions, the ratio of people being admitted to the ICU and the mortality rate are small.
Only 8 of 61 people affected by the variant were admitted to the ICU.
Only 7 of 62 people affected by the variant have died.
- Medical records of 324 people with COVID-19 were analyzed at UCSF clinics or its medical center.
- The data was adjusted in accordance with the difference in age, gender, and ethnicity.
- In the end, the results revealed that the patients carrying this variant virus are 4.8 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU and 11 times more likely to die than patients with other viral strains.
- Scientists also say that this contagious COVID variant is more contagious as much of the virus is found in the patient’s noses. This variant has the ability to spread faster and is more transmissible than its competitors.
Recent lab studies show that B.1.429 has more impact on the effectiveness of antibodies.
The new COVID variant is,
- Four times less susceptible than the actual Coronavirus in neutralizing antibodies. The antibodies of the affected people were also found less effective at blocking the variant.
- Two times less susceptible to the antibodies of people who got vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna(vaccines of COVID-19).
How Can It Be Prevented?
Following the same social mitigation measures can greatly help prevent the new variant.
1) Wear the mask.
2) Maintain social distancing.
3) Avoid going to crowded places.
4) Wash your hands often with soap and water.
5) Eat healthy foods that boost your immune system.