An alarming study recently surfaced revealing the concerning pace at which the mutant COVID strain is spreading in the United States.
According to the said study, this mutant strain or B.1.1.7 is doubling its reach in the US approximately every 10 days.
To put things in perspective, this strain of the virus was first detected in the UK relatively recently and has already become the dominant strain there.
Based on the CDC’s (Centre for Disease Control) assessment, B.1.1.7 is more communicable. The CDC also predicts that this new, more contagious variant will become the more dominant strain in the US by the end of this March should it persist to progress at this rate.
Health officials report a relatively low number of B.1.1.7 cases detected in the US but still urges the nation to be on high alert as COVID-19 case detection was relatively low at some point as well.
The authors of the said study highlight an inadequate US genomics surveillance program as the reason case detections appear low. If there is any merit to this then there is even more cause for concern as the number of cases might very well be much higher than reported.
According to health officials, the COVID-19 vaccine may work against other strains of the virus but to a lesser degree. The vaccine’s potency will vary depending on the new strain’s genetic composition and its relation to the known virus.
Health officials reckon this mutant COVID-19 strain reached the US via international travel and has since spread primarily though domestic travel. The season of winter celebration and all the holidays that came with it served as a primed relay environment for B.1.1.7 according to the Authors.
Consequently, the United States is now urged to improve upon its national genomics surveillance program as the fate of the nation literally depends on it. The citizens are also urged to become stricter in their social distancing and make an effort to adhere to the coping recommendations echoed by the Health Advisors.