Variants ‘Barely Getting Started’ To Spread, Could Explode By March
Scientists fear that the progression of coronavirus mutations is only beginning to take hold and outbreaks will surge even further in the coming months, particularly in the U.S.
U.K. Variant Could Drive A New Surge In The U.S., Experts Warn
Scientists are sending the U.S. a warning: What's happening right now in the United Kingdom with the new coronavirus variant could likely happen in the U.S., and the country has a short window to prepare. "I feel a sense of déjà vu right now about the situation we were in back in the spring," says epidemiologist Emma Hodcroft at the University of Bern in Switzerland. "I think a lot of countries are looking at the U.K. right now and saying, 'Oh, isn't that too bad that it's happening there, just like we did with Italy in February. "But we've seen in this pandemic a few times that, if the virus can happen somewhere else, it can probably happen in your country, too." (Doucleff, 1/13)
More Infectious Coronavirus Variants Could Exacerbate Record Deaths, Cases
As horrific as the U.S. Covid-19 outbreak looks right now, it is almost certainly about to get worse. They’ve raced through South Africa, the United Kingdom, and, increasingly, elsewhere, and now, new, more infectious variants of the coronavirus have also gained toeholds in the United States. If they take off here — which, with their transmission advantages, they will, unless Americans rapidly put a brake on their spread — it will detonate something of a bomb in the already deep, deep hole the country must dig out of to end the crisis. (Joseph, 1/14)
The B.1.1.7 strain spreads to more states and at least 50 countries —
50 Nations Report B117 Variant
Fifty countries encompassing all of the WHO's regions have now reported cases involving the B117 variant, up from 40 the previous week. Also, 20 countries have now reported the more transmissible 501Y.V2 variant first detected in South Africa, up from 6 the week before. The WHO also acknowledged two more variants of concern linked to Brazil, including B1128, detected by Japan among four travelers from Brazil, and a similar variant that appears to have evolved separately in Brazil, both which have a mutation or mutations that may affect transmissibility and host immunity. (Schnirring, 1/13)
The Baltimore Sun:
A New Variant Of The Coronavirus Has Surfaced In Maryland. Here’s What You Need To Know About It.
A new variant of the coronavirus emerged in Maryland for the first time this week after being detected in other states across the country. An Anne Arundel County couple are quarantining at their house after traveling to “multiple continents,” Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday at a State House news conference in Annapolis. (Oxenden, 1/14)
More Contagious COVID-19 Variant Detected In Wisconsin
A new, more contagious form of the COVID-19 virus has been detected in Wisconsin, health officials said Wednesday. State epidemiologist Ryan Westergaard told reporters during a video conference that state health officials received confirmation Tuesday that the variant had been detected through routine genome sequencing of a positive COVID-19 test for an Eau Claire County resident. (Richmond, 1/13)
COVID Research Updates: A Mutation Undercuts The Immune Response To The COVID Virus
Nature wades through the literature on the new coronavirus — and summarizes key papers as they appear. A selection of the latest research on the new coronavirus. (1/13)
Moderna CEO Warns The Coronavirus Is 'Not Going Away'
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel on Wednesday warned that the coronavirus is "not going away" and the world will have to live with it "forever." “We are going to live with this virus, we think, forever,” Bancel said. Bancel made the remark while speaking at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference, CNBC reports. He said health officials will always have to be on the lookout for new variants of COVID-19 in order for new vaccines to be produced and that “SARS-CoV-2 is not going away." (Choi, 1/13)