Soon after Gov. Greg Abbott declared the state of Texas is lifting the rules of COVID-19, a new genome study conducted in the city of Houston suggested that it had cases of every variant of the coronavirus.
Houston Is At Risk With Every Highly Contagious COVID Variants
Health officials said that 6 among the several variants that have been detected in the city are problematic. They added the variants will bring more complications as they undergo certain changes in their genome pattern, resulting in them being more contagious as well as letting them have a higher resistance against vaccines and a part infection.
The study has just finished and yet to be taken to further reviews by external scientists.
Experts who were involved in the study decoded genomes of the coronaviruses collected from a huge group of 20,400 patients of the pandemic. This number is similar to 4% of total cases that had been reported in the city last year.
Geographically, the largest city in the country in Houston. The population is diverse according to ethnicity and the city is also home to some major virus hunters.
Keith Jerome, the head of virology divisions at the University of Washington, said that to get a deep and realistic picture of the situation in Houston, a large enough sample of the virus variants.
Jerome added that it is one of the most comprehensive glances that the country ever had of the viruses in a given area anywhere in the U.S.
The authors of the study said that the city of Houston can be the first to detect all the variants of the virus, but not probably the only one to have them.
Wesley Long, one of the authors of the study and the medical director of diagnostic microbiology at Houston Methodist Hospital, said that probably there are other cities in the country with the presence of these variants, but simply unaware of it.
The health system of Houston Methodist is a part of a global network of labs that undergo genome sequencing, ARTIC Network. The ARTIC Network is always alert to receive reports of a new variant of the virus.
Lond said that the variants detected through the study were initially found last December, and more cases regarding them were detected in the next two months of January and February.
There were 23 cases found by researchers of the UK’s B.1.1.7 variant. Other cases include
2 of the South African B.1.351 variant, 4 of the Brazilian P.1 variant.
Scientists said that the most transmissible variant among those which were identified is the UK variant than the earlier versions of the coronavirus. This variant also brings the most severe conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The other two variants which were detected in South Africa and Brazil have further undergone certain mutations and become stronger enough to resist immunity from vaccines or past infection. These three are taken as the variants of concerns by health experts of every part of the world as they were the most dangerous among the strains that have ever been detected.