In the illustration in this photo, a hand holding a medical syringe in the background with the word omicroncovid-19 variant.
Rafael Enrique | LightRocket | Getty Images
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor of the White House, said Tuesday that 226 highly mutated Omicron Covid-19 variants have been detected in 20 countries so far, but U.S. officials are still in the state. No cases have been confirmed.
The variant, which first appeared in South Africa about a week ago, has more than 30 mutations in pesplomer alone. It is an important part of the virus that allows it to bind to human cells and infect the body. Scientists may also be able to avoid vaccine protection or be much more infectious than the already highly contagious delta mutants that have caused a surge in cases worldwide in recent months. I’m worried about that.
“This mutation profile is very different from other mutant strains of interest or concern. Some mutations are also found in the Delta, but this is not the Delta,” Fauci said at the Whitehouse Covid-19. He told reporters at the Task Force Briefing. “These mutations are associated with increased transmissibility and antigenic escape.”
He said there are several other mutations to the virus that scientists have never seen before and do not know how to change the behavior or spread of the virus.
Modana CEO Stephane Bancel warned on Monday The Omicron has already spread all over the globe.He pointed to the flight that arrived Amsterdam, South Africa On Friday, 61 of the 624 passengers tested positive for Covid. A total of 14 strains are infected with Omicron strains, according to Dutch health officials.
On Monday, Portuguese health officials said 13 members and staff of Lisbon’s professional soccer team had been infected with the variant after one of the players returned from a trip to South Africa.
“We also believe it already exists in most countries,” Bansel said in an interview with CNBC. “In most countries that have direct flights from South Africa in the last 7-10 days, I think there are cases that may not have been noticed in their own country.”
U.S. officials say they are looking for cases of Omicron by increasing surveillance of international travelers at the airport and calling regularly and even daily with state and local health authorities, laboratory directors, state epidemiologists and others. Said Dr. Rochelle Walensky of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Disease management prevention.
In a briefing, Warensky said the country has strengthened genomic sequencing of Covid cases in recent months, sequencing about 80,000 samples a week, up from about 8,000 samples earlier this year. She said the Delta mutant remains the predominant strain in the United States, accounting for about 99.9% of all sequenced cases nationwide.
“To be clear, we have far more tools to fight today’s variants than this time last year,” Warensky said.
Forch said it was premature to determine if Omicron was more deadly or milder than the delta mutant.He said: Report of milder symptoms in South Africa It is based on a small number of cases and usually occurs in young, healthy patients with mild Covid. According to Mr. Bansel of Modana, people in the United States and Europe tend to be older and in poorer health than the South African population.
“It’s very difficult to know if this particular mutation causes a serious illness,” Forch said. “Some preliminary information from South Africa suggests that there are no abnormal symptoms associated with the mutation, but we do not know and it is too early to tell.”
Officials have repeatedly pushed them to increase vaccination, and the best tools to protect themselves from mutants are to be vaccinated, boosted, continue to wear masks, and avoid crowds. Said.
“How do you deal with Omicron? I’ve said it over and over again, if you’re not vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you’re vaccinated, you’ll be boosted. Continue to use mitigation methods such as avoiding masks. Poorly ventilated areas. ”
CDC Strengthened that recommendation A Covid booster on Monday states that everyone over the age of 18 needs to get one.
Warensky said the CDC’s definition of “complete vaccination” has not changed. It’s only two weeks since the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. But she said, the more mutated the virus, the greater the need to strengthen immunity. “As the science evolves, we will consider whether the definition of complete vaccination needs to be updated,” she said.
According to Fauci, variants of omicron Covid have already been found in 20 countries, but not yet in the United States.
Source link According to Fauci, variants of omicron Covid have already been found in 20 countries, but not yet in the United States.