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The CDC director says the United States needs to curb Covid before the variants settle and exacerbate the pandemic.




Dr. Rochelle Warrensky, elected Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will speak at an event at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

Susan Walsh | AP

U.S. needs to deploy quickly COVID-19 CDC director Dr. Rochelle Warrensky said Wednesday that he would vaccinate and increase surveillance before the highly contagious mutants settle or the virus remutates and exacerbates the pandemic. ..

According to a research opinion written by Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor of the White House, the first three variants identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil are of concern to researchers. A CDC study published in January warns that a variant known as B.1.1.7 found in the United Kingdom is likely to become the leading strain in the United States by March.

Subspecies of B.1.1.7 have been shown to be highly infectious, “preliminary data suggest possible increased severity due to infection,” said Covid of Walensky, Fauci, and CDC. Incident Manager Dr. Henry Walke wrote: Perspective announced on Wednesday It is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association or JAMA.

Walensky told JAMA in another Wednesday interview that this variant is believed to be about 50% more contagious than previous strains, and early data indicate that it could be up to 50% toxic or fatal. He said it suggests that he has sex.

“Modeling data suggest that more contagious variants, such as B.1.1.7, may worsen the trajectory of the US pandemic, reverse the current decline in new infections, and further delay pandemic control. It shows that there is, “Walensky said. Said in the treatise.

Rise of variants

So far, in the United States, at least 1,277 Covid-19 cases of the UK B.1.1.7 variant, 19 cases of the B.1.351 variant found in South Africa, and 3 cases of the P.1 variant have been identified. I will.Discovered in Brazil, according to To recent data From the CDC.

According to the newspaper, surveillance of variants at a commercial laboratory in early February suggests that the prevalence of B.1.1.7 variants is approaching 1% nationwide. Prevalence can exceed 2% in some states.

However, the more the virus circulates and infects others, the more likely it is to mutate. This is why global health professionals have urged people to double public health measures such as social distance, frequent hand washing and masking until the vaccine is deployed and the population reaches so-called herd immunity. It is a part.

According to experts, the rapid spread of the virus also means that more people need to be vaccinated to create an immune umbrella. In the United States, the federal government needs to “aggressively reduce” the level of spread of the virus in the community, and Americans need to postpone travel, avoid crowds, and prevent variants from continuing to spread. Heads of health authorities write in their view.

“The more mutations we have, the more likely we are to see dominant mutations that can actually appear and be problematic,” Walensky told JAMA. “Therefore, the best we can do to prevent these in general is to reduce the circulation of the disease and the circulation of the virus.”

Accelerate vaccination

The United States is accelerating the pace of vaccination, “reducing infections, thereby creating opportunities for virus replication” for the emergence of variants of concern “especially when the virus is spreading most rapidly”. Officials said it was necessary.

Early data suggest that the first B.1.351 mutant found in South Africa may be able to escape the innate immunity acquired by people who have recovered from Covid-19, “currently in use. Vaccines that have this may be less effective in preventing infections, “he added. variant. “

The problem is not limited to the United States So far, countries that have been able to deploy vaccines to their population Mainly in high-income countries Has a supply contract with a pharmaceutical company.

“If a large number of viruses are still in circulation in other countries or in other parts of the world … in fact, these variants continue to threaten whether the vaccine will continue to work, so the virus is for us. It remains a threat. This is a global issue. “

Lack of monitoring

According to Warensky, the country’s response needs to be prepared not only to address mutations found in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, but also to detect mutations that may occur in the country.

The country’s infrastructure for conducting “genome sequence surveillance” of mutants in the United States has so far been poorly prepared to detect circulating strains.

The CDC is partnering with public health and commercial laboratories to rapidly scale up national genome sequencing. In January, the United States grew “thousands” because it only sequenced 250 samples a week for variants, Walensky said. But she added, “We are not where we need it.”

“It will be a dial, not a switch, and we need to dial it,” Warensky said.


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