The B.1.1.7 variant of COVID 19 spreads increasingly in the past few months with a total number of 6390 cases as of 21st March 2021 reported by 51 jurisdictions. The number of cases till 13th January this year was reported to be just a mere number of 76 cases and the upsurge since then is clearly worrisome and a serious concern for the health officials.
COVID 19 – B.1.1.7 Variants Unfurls In The US
So, what’s CDC’s take on SARS-COV-2?
CDC or the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring the numbers and have stated the gravitas of the situation that can be caused when the virus genome mutates which eventually alters the very characteristics of the virus and the way it has been acting in human bodies till date.
Alongside, CDC is also monitoring all other variants of the SARS-COV-2 for the applications implied on the vaccinations, treatments, and diagnostics for better results authorized in the United States.
How Dangerous is It?
The amalgamation of both the variants of the virus is prone to many dangerous threats and holds the ability to spread even more quickly while dodging some diagnostics and treatments. Needless to mention the UK variant or the B.1.1.7 has been accepted to be more deadly and swerves immunity standards. By far, the vaccines propagated are capable of treating both the variants and the manufacturers are on their way to prepare booster shots as the data is in its preliminary stages.
Dr. Anthony Faucci, an American Physician-scientist and Immunologist expressed his concerns on the matter by warning of its potentials and stated at the White House; “Of concern is that there are about 50% increase in transmission with this particular variant that has been documented in the UK and there’s likely an increase in severity of disease if infected with this variant”. His emphasize on the potential threats of this variant leaves us all with the same thought.
what makes this variant so deadly after all?
To begin with, B.1.1.7 variant contains 8 major changes in the spike protein of the virus that lets the virus enter the host cell way more quickly making it robust. All viruses mutate and the SARS-COV-2 mutates once or twice every month. What makes this spesh is the fact that B.1.1.7 went through 23 mutations from its original Wuhan Strain and 3 of them hypothesized to potentially have the largest biological changes while 8 others took place in the spike protein.
The still found cases prove the increased health hazards and transmissibility of the virus however, the preliminary data collected so far suggests no doubts on the efficiency of the vaccines or the levels of increased severity of the disease. The varied data on various studies still don’t clarify the true gruesomeness of the variant.
Prevention You Say?
This, unfortunately, is not the end of the SARS-COV-2 variants. Earlier this year, the other more dangerous lineages have been found in South Africa and Brazil. All this calls for immediate medical attention that includes rapid-antigen-tests, proper diagnostics and the spread of affluent quantities of vaccinations. This situation calls for even more education of the people and the implication of safety protocols.
The importance of vaccines is highlighted even more as by far, the vaccines have been proven to protect against the variant. The simple calculation behind this turns out to be the fact that the vaccines cause a powerful and broad immune response that strongly covers the potential threats of this particular variant.