A Covid-19 variant spotted in New York City back in November, has now multiplied to 735 cases. Worryingly enough, 585 of these cases — nearly 80% of the total number — were reported in the last two weeks.
This particular strain has spread extensively through metropolitan New York, while similar cases have been identified in 14 other US states, including Maryland, Texas, and Wyoming.
According to leading infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recent news briefing, the variant, which is scientifically called B.1.526, possibly began in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan.This variant is one of the five variants that health officials are particularly vigilant about and tracking nationally.
The director of the CDC’s Advanced Molecular Detection Program, Gregory Armstrong, shared on a Monday interview that the majority of cases of this New York variant have been reported largely in the New Jersey and New York areas. And though health authorities are being particularly wary of this contagious new variant, it is“relatively limited geographically” for now.
Dr. Fauci, who is the current head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, explained that this variant needs to be tracked very carefully“for its ability to evade both monoclonal antibody and, to a certain extent, the vaccine-induced antibody.”
As per recent research, B.1.526 possibly emerged in November among people who had been ill for a long time and whose immune systems had been compromised.
Dr. Fauci then pointed out how he is often asked if such immuno-compromised people should get the vaccinations, to which he says,
“The answer is absolutely, yes! Absolutely, yes, because that’s not only important for them for their own health. But that could be the breeding ground of the variant and the emergence of a variance.”
CDC’s new director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, warned that the decline in Covid-19 cases already appears to have plateaued at a level that is still considerably high. She then warned that the current caseloads combined with the super-infectious variants could lead to a fourth surge, just before the vaccinations can help out. She said,
“At this level of cases, with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. These variants are a very real threat to our people and our progress.”
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