B.1.526, the latest coronavirus strain first discovered at Washington Heights in the upper Manhattan Area is growing rapidly across NYC.
Speaking on the matter, Dr. Eric Topol said, “I am concerned about its immune escape.” He was referring to the heightened ability of this strain for evading the antiviral armaments of patients’ bodies, even the vaccine.
So far, the coronavirus vaccines developed till now have proven their effectiveness even for B.1.526, but the virologists need to keep an eye on the new variants. The ultimate goal of scientists is to produce a universal vaccine that can defend all varieties of the coronavirus. The case of the new variant has been reported after one year when the COVID cases started emerging.
Interestingly, it has just been over a month when life started to get back to normal after lockdown that this variant hit the city. Even the restaurants had re-started dine-in services from February 2021.
“The variants are the X factor here,” said Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York City. Those who properly covered their faces maintained social distancing and properly sanitized manage to keep themselves safe from this new variant. The Mayor’s advisor for the pandemic, Dr. Jay Varma said, “There’s nothing different that we need people to do in New York.” He kept his face covered with a face mask while addressing the media about this new variant to send out a strong message.
Now the healthcare experts are again stressing on the need of wearing a double mask and are advocating that it should become a custom.
E484K is a mutation that has made the NYC variant more problematic as this mutation permits this variant to avoid antibodies, thus infecting more people who come in contact with the infected person. The good thing is that the available vaccines are effective against these.
About this variant Andrew Read, the Penn State microbiologist said “less well controlled by the vaccine, but it’s not orders of magnitude down, which would terrify me.” The news about this new variant cleared that the COVID-19 is still not over. Only in the United States, around 6 new strains of the COVID-19 have been discovered, which are rapidly spreading across the country.
This means the war is not over yet!