Governor Gavin Newsom (Gavin Newsom) announced Wednesday that a mutated and more contagious strain of coronavirus has attracted widespread attention when it emerged in the UK.
San Diego County officials said that tests showed that a 30-year-old resident was infected with the strain in the first confirmed variant case in California on the day after the sequence was first discovered in Colorado. Officials said the Southern California man had not been to the United States recently-indicating that despite efforts to contain the mutation in Europe, it may have spread locally.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced the news during a virtual meeting with Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci and other infectious disease experts say that there is no indication that the mutant strain will cause more serious cases of disease, and early signs indicate that a new series of vaccines can be used to combat it.
However, as the virus spreads to the people most susceptible to the virus, the more transmissible strain may cause more infections and deaths. The surge of COVID-1
The precautions that people should take to prevent the spread of the latest strain are the same as those recommended by officials in the fight against the coronavirus for months-wear a mask and avoid contact with people outside the home.
John Swartzberg, emeritus clinical professor of infectious diseases and vaccinology at the Berkeley School of Public Health, said: “If we continue to do these things, regardless of the spread of this virus, it will disappear. “Don’t change anything, just do What you should always do. “
Fauci said that mutations and new strains of the virus can be expected during the pandemic.
“I am not surprised that you have one case and there may be more cases in California. We may see reports from other states,” Fauci said. “I don’t think Californians would find this a bit weird.”
Fauci said the coronavirus is an RNA virus that “lives on mutations.” Most mutations do not change the behavior of the virus, but “every time, you will get mutations that do affect the function of the virus.”
“From what we learned from the UK, what we will learn here,” Fauci said, “In fact, this mutation does make the virus better at spreading from one person to another.”
Swartzberg said that researchers are not yet sure of the exact cause. A major suspect is the “spike” protein on the virus, which may have been mutated to more easily bind to the cells of the potential host. This mutation may also cause the infected person to shed more virus.
Swartzberg said the most important thing is that “(infected) people are more likely to spread it to another person.”
Fauci said that people who have been infected by the coronavirus also appear to be immune to the strain. Fauci said that scientists will evaluate the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine against the new strain, but a single mutation is unlikely to affect the effectiveness of the vaccine.
The new strain has not escaped detection in diagnostic tests. However, at the national level, the United States has not yet established a strong initiative to sequence the virus and check for genetic mutations. According to the analysis of the “Washington Post”, despite the high number of cases in the country, the number of sequencing in the other 42 counties is still higher than that in the United States.
The Associated Press provided reports.