In The News: CDC Director Says Delta Variant May Soon Become Dominant Strain In The States

FeaturedIn The News: CDC Director Says Delta Variant May Soon Become Dominant Strain In The States

According to CDC director Rochelle Walenksy, a highly-contagious variant of the coronavirus known as the delta Variant, could very well become a dominant strain in the United States.

The variant, according to the World Health Organization, was identified last October in India, and is reported to be present in approximately eighty countries world-wide. It’s alleged to have now been discovered in forty-one states in the U.S..

The variant has been classified as a “variant of concern,” by WHO. This week the CDC upgraded its classification from “variant of interest,” to “variant of concern.”

“When these viruses mutate,” Walensky told ABC News, “they do so with some advantage to the virus. In this case, it’s more transmissible. It’s more transmissible than the alpha variant, or the U.K. variant, that we have here. We saw that quickly become the dominant strain in a period of one or two months, and I anticipate that is going to be what happens with the delta strain here.”

CDC health officials say they are concerned that the delta strain may mutate to a point where it can evade the existing COVID vaccines.

“That’s what we’re actively trying to prevent,” Walensky said. “Which is why we’re really encouraging people to get vaccinated. I will say, as worrisome as this delta strain is with regard to its hyper-transmissibility, our vaccines work. Right now, they are working, and they require actually two doses or to be fully-vaccinated to work. So I would encourage all Americans to get your first shot, and when you get your second shot, you’ll be protected against this delta variant.”

According to Dr. Ashish Jha, the Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, the delta variant is “far more contagious than any variant we have seen throughout this entire pandemic.”

As more Americans continue to get vaccinated, and cases decline, close to 600,OOO have perished from COVID-19.

Source: ABC News.

In The News: World Health Organization Designates Indian Coronavirus Variant A Potential World Threat

In The News: World Health Organization Designates Indian Coronavirus Variant A Potential World Threat

According to the WHO, a variant of the coronavirus first identified in India, is a potential world-wide threat. The variant known as B.1.617, is believed to be behind the recent outbreak in India. Other variants were previously discovered in South Africa, Brazil, and Britain.

This latest variant was discovered back in October. According to health officials, the variant can combine mutations in the protein that can aid it in avoiding the body’s immune system.

Maria Van Kerkove, who is technical lead of WHO’s coronavirus response, said Monday at a press conference, “There is some available information to suggest some increased transmissibility of B.1.617, and as such we are classifying this as a variant of concern at the global level. Even though there is increased transmissibility demonstrated by some preliminary studies, we need much more information about this virus variant in this lineage, in all of the sub lineages, so we need more sequencing, targeted sequencing to be done.”

It’s been suggested that the variant may be behind the latest surge in India, but Gagandeep Kang – who is executive director of Translational Health Service and Technology Institute in India – isn’t so sure. “There is some conflicting data regarding the B.1.1.7 variant, which seems to indicate as some studies that it does cause more severe disease, in other studies not,” he said.

It has yet to be determined whether or not B.1.617 is a cause of more severe C0VID infection. Until more research is done, it’s impossible to know for certain.

Sources: The Week, NY Times, CNBC.