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Gottlieb warns that New York virus variants may be driving new outbreaks

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Washington — Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) director Scott Gottlieb said a worried coronavirus variant has revealed a new outbreak in the city of New York, the epicenter of the early pandemic COVID-19 crisis. I warned that it may be promoting.

“We’ve seen a lot of infections surge in New York City pockets. What we don’t understand in 1.526 is whether people are re-infected with it and may have been vaccinated. Whether or not people are infected with it now, “Gottlieb said on Sunday, referring to B in” Face the Nation. ” 1.526, the scientific name of the first subspecies detected in New York.

According to Gottlieb, the B.1.526 mutant had a mutation in another first detected variant in South Africa, B.1.351, and was previously infected with COVID-19 or subsequently vaccinated. This is because it can re-infect humans. Virus.

“The question is whether 1.526 is part of the increase currently seen in New York, and whether this is the beginning of a new outbreak in New York,” Gottlieb said.

In New York, Gottlieb said viral variants are known to account for 50% of new infections, with B.1.526 being the most common strain. He called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help city health officials sequence virus samples to better understand how the mutants are spreading. ..

“We are not very good at collecting cases now and linking them to clinical experience. Therefore, we need to intervene more aggressively and start ordering cases, especially before. That’s the case with people who have been vaccinated or report that they are already infected with COVID, “said a former FDA commissioner.

Gottlieb said the CDC should encourage doctors to come forward and report potential cases of patients previously re-infected with COVID-19.

“I don’t know if that’s happening. But anecdotally, some doctors are reporting it now, which could explain why you’re seeing a surge in cases.” He said. “1.526 and B.1.1.7 are becoming more prevalent and may be the cause in their own right, but I want to prevent it from reinfecting people.”

according to John Hopkins University, New York State has a positive test rate of 3.3% in the past month, but Gottlieb says tests will be delayed, with positive rates as high as 15% in certain areas of New York City. An average of 6,337 new infections occur daily in the state over the past week.

New York State has administered more than 7.4 million coronavirus vaccines. According to Johns Hopkins, about 2.4 million people, or about 12.6% of the state’s population, are fully vaccinated.

Nationwide, increasing numbers of vaccinations and the immunity of people infected with COVID-19 should be sufficient to prevent the “fourth wave” of infection, Gottlieb said.

“The fact that we were very often infected before, the fact that 120 million Americans are infected with this virus, the fact that we are currently vaccinated, you explain If so, I think at least 70 million Americans have been vaccinated with a single vaccination. Due to the fact that about 30% of previously vaccinated people were infected with COVID, about 55% of the population. We’re talking about some form of defensive immunity, “Gottlieb said. “So I don’t think we’ll see a fourth surge here because we have enough backstops.”

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