The Latest Update On The Coronavirus And Its Variants

The Latest Update On The Coronavirus And Its Variants

On Wednesday the US House voted on the Coronavirus relief package.  The Coronavirus relief package includes massive relief checks up to 1400 dollars. This sum of money will act as stimulus checks for some Americans. A group that has been tracking the progress of vaccinations has noted that richer countries are reportedly vaccinating a person every second. 

The Latest Update On The Coronavirus And Its Variants

Whereas poorer nations have not yet started vaccinations. The death toll in Brazil, for instance, has reported nearly 2000 fatalities every day. Brazil has recorded the highest daily death toll.

The Covid-19 virus has now developed variants to the original strain of the virus. The latest variant of the virus has originated from the United Kingdom. Also known as the B.1.1.7 variant, authorities have noted that this variant of the virus is highly contagious. 

The Latest Update On The Coronavirus And Its Variants

A study based on the B.1.1.7 UK variant was published in the medical journal, the BMJ or the British Medical Journal. According to the study, people infected by the B.1.1.7 variant of the virus have a 64% higher probability of dying as compared to other strains of the Covid 19 virus. 

Initially, medical professionals and practitioners believed the virus to be only highly infectious. Further information about the B.1.1.7 variant, lets us know that the UK variant is quite lethal more so than any other strain or variant of the Covid-19 virus.

The study enlightened officials of the deadliness of the virus. The variant was related to 227 deaths out of a sample population of 54,906 patients who had the Coronavirus. The number of deaths credited to the B.1.1.7 variant greatly exceeded that of the deaths caused by other strains of the virus. The number of deaths that had other strains of the virus as the cause was 141. 

“In the community, death from COVID-19 is still a rare event, but the B.1.1.7 variant raises the risk. Coupled with its ability to spread rapidly this makes B.1.1.7 a threat that should be taken seriously,” according to Robert Challen, lead author of the study from the University of Exeter in the UK.

The variant was first reported in September 2020.  It has now shown up in over 100 countries. The B.1.1.7 variant has around 23 mutations in the genetic code that allows the virus to be easily transmissible to others. The ratio of mortality is 1.64 compared to other strains of the virus.

In the opinion of virology and oncology professor at Warwick University, Lawrence Young the intricacies of the variants high mortality rate is still unknown however he says it “could be related to higher levels of virus replication as well as increased transmissibility”. He warned of the increasing likelihood of a resurgence in cases all across Europe during the B.1.1.7 variant.

According to Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist, and epidemiologist medical officials have been attempting to keep track of the B.1.1.7 variant since it first popped up. She states, “Where it has hit in the UK and now elsewhere in Europe, it has been catastrophic. It has driven up rates of hospitalizations and deaths and it’s very difficult to control.”

Other officials have also stressed the need for vigilance. Dr. Michael Osterholm,  director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy emphasized the seriousness of the situation. He said, “Four weeks ago, the B.1.1.7 variant made up about 1% to 4% of the virus that we were seeing in communities across the country. Today, it’s up to 30% to 40%. What we’ve seen in Europe when we hit that 50% mark, you see cases surge.”

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