Just hours after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the sudden prevalence of a70% more infectious strain of coronavirus, many countries including Austria, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Italy placed travel bans on U.K. travel.
This strain that is said to be “racing about England” and“out of control”in Southern parts of England, has shaken people the world over. While many governments have already announced travel restrictions to and from the UK, many are evaluating the best line of action for their country. Then there is Saudi Arabia that in reaction to this new virus threat, has simply banned all international travel for a week.
One wonders what we Americans should do and what will be safest for us, especially since our covid-19 numbers are already soaring so high. Here’s the information we’ve gathered from various sources including the WHO, the CDC, and leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Fauci assures us there’s no need to panic. While speaking to ABC’s “Good Morning America” he said,
“When you have this amount of spread within a place like the U.K., you really need to assume that it's here already...And certainly is not the dominant strain, but I would not be surprised at all if it's already here.”
The CDC said,
“Given the small fraction of US infections that have been sequenced, the variant could already be in the United States without having been detected.”
Experts say that the vaccine should work against this new strain despite the fact that it is far more transmissible than its predecessor. Though this variant does spread faster, health experts uphold it is not more dangerous.
WHO’s emergency expert, Mike Ryan, explained that multiple strains of the disease have emerged over the last few months, and assured that this pattern of strain evolution need not be considered threatening. He said,
“what no variant has done yet is establish itself as having any higher level of severity or evading our diagnostics or hiding from the effectiveness of vaccines.”
So basically disease experts are advising us to stay calm about the new strain. And in the meantime, Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are studying how their vaccinations react against it.