In Massachusetts, the number of mutations of the coronavirus is increasing, and local experts warn that quick action is needed to prevent a surge in infections.
Of particular concern is Increase in P.1 variants, Was first discovered in Brazil. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Massachusetts is one of the states with the largest number of cases (82), second only to Florida (84).
At least 50 cases of P.1 in Massachusetts Found in Barnstable County.
The CDC said that as of Wednesday, the state had also identified 977 cases of the B.1
Samuel Scarpino, assistant professor at Northeastern University’s Institute of Network Science and director of the Emergency Epidemiology Laboratory, took a broader look at the trend of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. The case, the number of hospitalizations, and the positive rate are all in rise. Regarding the location of the state.He is worried that the state is entering a potential surge phase before it can reach the required level of safety through the benefits of vaccination and warmer weather. This is the state he and others have. Warn against making a quick restart plan for Massachusetts.
Epidemiologists say that the reason for the increase in the number of cases in Massachusetts is not necessarily the P.1 variant, but the B.1.1.7 strain may have promoted this increase.
Scarpino told Boston.com: “Achieving any form of cattle immunity requires a higher level of vaccination coverage, which also means that it will spread faster than we have seen in the past.”
The challenge facing Massachusetts and most of the United States is the lack of systematic monitoring of virus strains. So when a bunch of cases are discovered in Cape Province, the question remains whether Massachusetts does have some of the highest-level P.1 variants — or whether the state has just been able to capture them.
Ultimately, what matters is what happens next, Scarpino said.
He said: “The response must be very radical.” “Last year was basically a month ago, we saw Biological Propagation Event How an event led to 50, 60 cases turned into 500 cases and 1,000 and thousands of cases. So this is the real problem. Not necessarily we have the most things. However, now that we have found it, we now have the opportunity to intervene in public health measures, such as testing, tracking, quarantine, restricting indoor gatherings, etc., in an attempt to prevent this massive increase. “
Scarapino said that researchers are still actively investigating the potential meaning of the P.1 variant, but so far, laboratory studies have shown that the vaccine is not as effective as expected on the P.1 variant. He said that there are some studies that have not yet been peer-reviewed that the mutant strain is more infectious than the B.1.1.7 strain.
The epidemiologist said: “For me, the take-home message has not been resolved.” “But the signs are that this is a very worrying variant, and we should take it seriously and make every effort to prevent its spread.”
For the B.1.1.7 variant, because it has been circulating in multiple regions, some studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine is as effective against the strain as the previous version of the vaccine. Scarpino said that this virus means People who have been vaccinated are still “quite safe.” However, even after being vaccinated, people can still be infected and it is possible to spread the infection to other people, which means that individuals should continue to consider the health and vaccination status of the people in the family.
Epidemiologists say that for variants like B.1.1.7 and P.1, the important thing for unvaccinated people to remember is that there are not so many activities that could have been safer before, because people These variants may be more infectious. The public should be more aware of wearing masks, the ventilation of the space visited, and try to minimize the possibility of indoor gathering outside bubbles.
Scarpino said: “The current COVID rate is the level of mid-November.” “This means that before we used the variants, the risk was high, and now, because of these variants, the risk is much higher. [variants] Easier to spread. “
The Northeastern University professor said that he believes urgent measures should be taken to address the rising changes in Massachusetts, but he suspects that officials will not shy away from the state’s decision to reopen. “There has been no really alarming rise in the case.”
Scarpino said this reality is unfortunate, because as far as epidemics are concerned, it is better to act early than act late. This is why he and others opposed the way Massachusetts reopened.
He said: “Part of the reason we were in trouble for a year was that we waited until it was too late before we made a difference.” “But suppose we are not talking about reducing indoor dining, sports events, party restrictions, all these things, Then I think we need to do everything we can to speed up the vaccination schedule safely and effectively.”
Massachusetts After the neighbor Vaccine eligibility is open to individuals 16 years and older. Residents under the age of 55 who have not been prioritized for vaccines will be allowed to take the vaccine from April 19, which is different from the surrounding states where the vaccine is already open.
According to Scarpino, this is especially important because Massachusetts is currently detecting many cases among young people. The professor said that he hoped Governor Charlie Baker and his government would “work hard to look at” the timetable for raising qualifications.
He said: “We are approaching things that seem more normal, but we don’t exist yet.” “Moreover, the more serious we take measures now, the quicker and safer we will get out of trouble. Therefore, if people do not participate indoors For gatherings, if they are very wise to the people who are not indoors, then they will be very thoughtful and cautious when they wear masks, high-filter masks, and double-layer masks. We go faster.”
It is also important that anyone attending a holiday party on the weekend should be tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible to avoid spreading the virus to others.
Scarpino said that this is essential to prevent a recurrence of holiday surges, and the threat of holiday surges will only become more serious due to the continuous increase of these variants.
He said: “We need to take these variants very seriously, much more serious than we are now.” “Otherwise, we are in danger of returning to normal. I personally think this will be tragic and unacceptable. , Because we are so close. We really only need a few more weeks to get more people vaccinated. We must be very cautious, very cautious and wise when gathering indoors.
Scarpino said there are lights at the end of the tunnel and the length of the tunnel depends on the actions of individuals and officials next month.
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