After the number of coronavirus cases in the United States fell for a month, President Joe Biden’s CDC director warned that the rise of mutant coronavirus strains may wipe out all the gains made so far in the fight against the pandemic .
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who was appointed by Biden as the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said: “Please listen to me clearly: In this case, the variants are spreading. , We will completely lose the hard-won basis that we have gained.” told reporters on Monday. She pointed out that the number of new infections last week increased by 2% compared to the previous week, which is in sharp contrast to the decline in the number of previous weeks.
Valensky urged states to avoid removing COVID-1
Varensky explained: “I’m really worried about reports that more states are withdrawing the exact public health measures we recommend to protect people from COVID-19.” She urged the public to continue to wear masks and said Take other public health safety measures.
Volensky added: “Ultimately, vaccination will free us from this pandemic.” “To get there, we need to vaccinate more people.”
Public health experts shared Valensky’s views.
Dr. Russell Medford, Chairman of the Global Health Center, said: “Despite the significant improvement since January, we are still spreading the severe SARS-CoV-2 virus today, and its daily cases and death rates are comparable to the peak of last summer. Comparable.” Innovation and Global Health Crisis Coordination Center to Salon. In this case, we face the real risk of a new or even larger wave of coronavirus variants, which show higher transmissibility, higher virulence and resistance to vaccines. “
Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, also responded to Varensky’s concerns.
Benjamin explained in an email to Sharon: “Although the current vaccine covers the main variants we have found so far, there is still a risk that the variants will escape the vaccine.” “Such an escape will re-establish a new infection. Illness.”
Dr. Alfred Sommer, professor emeritus of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and professor of epidemiology, told Sharon that he thought Varensky was “honest and cautious. This is entirely speculative, but It is worth noting that variants are likely to appear (such as the South African variant in circulation) that will be less sensitive to current vaccines.” He added that if pharmaceutical companies create new variants on existing vaccines to deal with mutant strains To solve this problem, you can solve the problem, although he pointed out that production and distribution problems will limit the company’s ability to promote the revised vaccine to the public.
Until then, Sommer believes that people need to follow public health guidelines.
Sommer told Sharon: “Vaccinate, support the government’s investment in tracking and responding to new variants, and be sensitive to the use of recommended cover-ups and social distancing measures.”
Benjamin agreed with Sommer and added that the way to avoid losing the progress made so far in the fight against COVID-19 is to ensure that the coronavirus variants cannot replicate. In turn, this means that they will not be able to create mutant strains that are easier to spread or evade vaccines.
Benjamin told Sharon: “The way to prevent this is to wear a mask, keep hand hygiene and stay away from society.” Americans should also “avoid mass gatherings until we get effective disease control and get community immunity through vaccination. “
Not all medical experts who spoke to Salon agreed with the director of the CDC, although they did emphasize the importance of following public health guidelines (such as wearing masks and distance from society). Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease doctor and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told Sharon via email that she disagrees with Varensky’s statement.
Gandhi explained: “In the U.S., all approved vaccines provide 100% protection against severe COVID-19 disease that requires hospitalization, even when testing in areas where the variant is spreading.” She gave an example. How a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine prevented 100% of hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 in the United States, Latin America, and South Africa. Even though 95% of South African strains were B.1.351 variants at the time, and 69% of Brazil’s strains were new mutant strains, this still happened.
Gandhi pointed out: “After vaccination or natural infection, few variants cause reinfection of symptomatic infection.”
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