Covid 2.O

Covid+2.O

Nahiara M., Staff Writer

 

     In December of 2020, it was announced that a new strain of covid was discovered in European countries and Southern Africa.  We know that viruses constantly go through change so scientists expected this to happen, but this brings up questions about the strains. 

     As far as the CDCP knows there have been many variants of the virus recorded during the pandemic. The virus that we know as Covid-19 is from a family of viruses known as the coronavirus and variants from this family don’t appear to have a higher risk but more of a faster and easier spread.  With this information at hand, the CDCP predicts there will be more hospitalization and deaths and more lockdowns and protocols in workplaces and schools.

     As for strains, the question many have is if the new strain is more dangerous than the current COVID-19? Robert Bollinger M.D., M.P.H., and Raj and Kamla Gupta, Professor of Infectious Diseases, says that so far we know that it is not more dangerous. As far as scientists know the strain spreads much faster but does not seem to cause fatality faster or cause severe diseases.  Not only are we seeing new strains now, but experts also say that we will continue to discover new strains as long as COVID-19 spreads through the population. Now another question many wonder is if the current vaccine will work on the new strains? Stuart Ray M.D., Vice-Chair of Medicine for Data Integrity and Analytics, says, “There is no evidence at this point that immune responses driven by current vaccines would not work against this new strain.” 

     Seeing as the strains are fairly new, starting as early as September 2020, we still don’t know too much information on the strains. The only knowledge we have now is based on small studies and the current COVID-19. The CDCP says that scientists are working to know more about the strains and answer questions. Scientists will most likely want to discover how widely have these new strains spread, how the disease caused by these new variants differs from the disease caused by other variants that are currently circulating, and how these variants affect existing therapies and vaccines.” Scientists will be looking into these questions and more. 

     Though it may be startling to hear there are new strains, Robert Bollinger says, “As far as this latest strain is concerned, we don’t need to overreact.” For now, citizens must continue to wear masks and practice safe social distancing from others.