New strain of coronavirus worries epidemiologists

The presence of a new strain of coronovirus in the United Kingdom is more contagious than others, which worries epidemiologists and, in the immediate term, led many countries to suspend flights from British territory on Sunday.

Suspension of flights

Confirmation of the infectiousness of this tension ordered British authorities to rejoin London and part of England (a total of 16 million inhabitants). Several European countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Ireland, have announced the suspension of their air contact with the United Kingdom.

Berlin is also preparing an air link ban with South Africa, where the same strain of the virus has been observed. The German government said that EU experts have come to the conclusion that the existing COVID-19 vaccines remain effective compared to the new version.

“From all that we know at the present time and the following discussions that have taken place among experts from the European authorities”, the new tension “has no effect on vaccines”, said German Health Minister Jens Spann “just as effective” stay tuned. On the public television channel ZDF, the minister said, “This will be very good news.”

The WHO has called on its members in Europe to “consolidate their control”. According to the WHO, some cases have been reported outside of British territory, in Denmark (9), as well as in the Netherlands and Australia.

The European Disease Control Agency (ECDC), consisting of about thirty countries, including members of the European Union and the United Kingdom, “did not rule out” that this version aired outside British territory. .

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A new strain

British government scientific adviser Patrick Valence indicated on Saturday that this new version of SARS-CoV-2, in addition to its rapid spread, is also becoming a “dominant” form, leading to a “very sharp increase” in hospitalizations. Is happening December. According to her she appeared in London or Kent (South-East) in mid-September.

“The Advisory Group on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (NERVTAG) can now spread this new strain rapidly,” Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said in a statement.

This opinion is based on the observation of “a much stronger increase in cases of contamination and hospitalization in London and the South East than in the rest of England in recent times”, indicates Professor of Medicine Paul from the University of East Anglia Hunter, cited on Science Media Center.

Referring to the information given by health officials, he said, “This increase appears to be due to the new stress.”

However, “for the moment there is no indication that this new strain causes high mortality or that it affects vaccines and treatment, but urgent work is underway to confirm this”, says Chris Whitty.

“Very worrying”

Immunologist of Imperial College London, Proc. According to Peter Openshaw, “information about this new strain is very worrying” Science Media Center. Especially because “it seems 40% to 70% more permeable”.

“This is very bad news”, says Professor John Edmonds of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: “It seems that the virus is much more contagious than the previous strain.”

On its Facebook page, French geneticist Axel Kahn recalled the date, stating “three hundred co-cum-two mutants have been sequenced in the world”.

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The new strain specifically carries a mutation, called N501Y, into the protein of the “spicule” of the coronovirus, the point that lies on its surface and allows it to attach to human cells to penetrate is.

Dr. of the University of Leicester. According to Julian Tang, “This N501Y mutation was already circulating earlier this year outside the UK, in June – July for Australia, in July in the US, and in April in Brazil.”

“Coronavreuse mutates all the time and so it’s not surprising that new versions of SARS-CoV-2 are emerging,” recalls Professor Julian Hiscox of the University of Liverpool. “The most important thing is to find out if this version has properties that affect human health, diagnosis and vaccines. “

“The production of more viruses, and therefore the number of people infected, is the frequency of more random mutations and greater mutations that is beneficial for the virus”, notes Professor Axel Kahan.

According to the World Health Organization, in addition to “preliminary indications that the variant may be more contagious”, the variant “may also affect the effectiveness of some diagnostic methods”, again according to “preliminary information”.

However, “there is no evidence of a change in the severity of the disease”, although research is also being done on this point.

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