WHO is carefully monitoring 10 Covid variants as virus mutates world wide

Mukesh Bhardwaj cries as he sits next to his wife, who is receiving free oxygen support for people with respiratory problems, outside a Gurudwara (Sikh temple) amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ghaziabad, India. May 3, 2021.

Adnan Abidi | Reuters

The World Health Organization is tracking ten coronavirus variants “of concern” or “concern” around the world, including two first discovered in the US and a triple mutant variant wreaking havoc in India as a potential global threat to the public Health.

New strains of Covid-19 emerge every day as the virus continues to mutate, but only a handful make the official WHO watch list “variants of interest” or the more serious term “affected variant”, commonly defined as a mutated strain that is more contagious , deadlier and more resistant to current vaccines and treatments.

The organization has classified three strains as worrying variants: the B.1.1.7 from Great Britain and currently the most widespread strain in the USA, the B.1.351 found in South Africa and the P.1 variant from Brazil.

The other seven variants of interest include the B.1617 variant or the triple mutant strain first found in India. However, WHO technical director for Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, says more studies are needed to fully understand its significance.

“There are actually a number of virus variants that are being discovered around the world that we all need to properly evaluate,” she said. Scientists are studying how much each variant circulates in local areas, whether the mutations change the severity or transmission of the disease, and other factors, before being classified as a new public health threat. “The information comes quickly and furiously. There are new variants being identified and reported every day, not all of which are important.”

Other variants classified as Variants of Interest include B.1525, which was first detected in the UK and Nigeria, B.1427 / B.1429, which was first detected in the US, P.2, which was first detected in Brazil was, P.3, first detected in Japan and the Philippines, S477N, first detected in the USA and B.1.616, first detected in France.

Van Kerkhove said the classifications are determined, at least in part, by sequencing capabilities, which vary from country to country; “So far it’s really sketchy.” Van Kerkhove said the agency is also seeing local epidemiologists as an extension of the agency’s “eyes and ears” to better understand the local situation and identify other potentially dangerous variants.

“Currently, there are a number of countries in all regions of the world that are showing worrying trends, worrying signs of rising case numbers, rising hospitalization rates, and ICU rates in countries that do not yet have access to the vaccine and have not achieved the coverage levels needed to Really having that impact on serious illness and death and transmission, “Kerkhove said.

Kerkhove also said that not all variations are noteworthy.

“It is important that we have the right discussions to determine which ones are important to the public health value. This means that doing so changes our ability to use public health social measures or any of our medical countermeasures.” , she said. “We’re getting the right people together in the room to discuss what these mutations mean,” she said. “We need the global community to work together, and they are.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also have a list of four variants of interest and five variants of concern that is similar to the WHO list, although the CDC mainly focuses on variants that are causing new outbreaks in the United States.

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