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Delta and Gamma Covid-19 variants are taking over the U.S.

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Two terrible coronaviruses Variants are rapidly overthrowing the most terrifying variants in the United States before.Their rise has caused experts to worry that the country may see continued outbreaks and resurgence. Coronavirus disease Unless the current slow pace vaccination accelerate.

Alpha-a variant formerly known as B.1.1.7, originally discovered in the UK-swept the country at the beginning of this year. It is estimated that the transmission rate of the pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that broke out in Wuhan, China in 2020 is about 50% higher. Alpha’s rise in the United Kingdom last fall was associated with a surge in cases. The virus variants quickly accounted for more than 90% of cases there. Similarly, in the United States, Alpha virus became the main strain within a few months of this year, accounting for about 70% of circulating strains by the end of April.

But according to Fresh data, Two other variants now threaten Alpha’s rule in the United States: Delta (aka B.1.617.2, first discovered in India) and Gamma (aka P.1, first discovered in Brazil and Japan). Delta is considered the most interesting variant to date. Although the vaccine is still effective against Delta, it is estimated that this variant is 50% to 60% more infectious than Alpha, and there is evidence that it may cause more serious diseases. When Delta first appeared in the UK in early April, it quickly defeated Alpha and now accounts for approximately 90% of new cases. On the other hand, Gamma does not spread so quickly, but it does slightly reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.

According to data released on the preprint server on Monday, Delta and Gamma are immediately collectively surpassing the US Alpha, which has fallen from its dominant position.The number of alpha cases fell from 70% in April to the current low 35%In the preprint study, as of June 9, Delta and Gamma together accounted for about 30% of all cases in the United States, of which Delta accounted for about 14% and Gamma accounted for about 16%.

Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at a White House press conference on Tuesday estimated that as of June 19, the proportion of Delta Air Lines cases nationwide has now reached 20.6%.

This preprint study, which has not been peer-reviewed, was conducted by California researchers at Helix, a genomics company. The company is working with CDC to help monitor the SARS-CoV-2 variant. Helix researchers have data on nearly 244,000 SARS-CoV-2 positive samples collected since January 2021. Since April, they have collected the genetic sequences of nearly 20,000 virus isolates in 747 counties across the country.

The study has limitations, most notably, given the slowdown in transmission, the number of samples collected in recent weeks is relatively small. Although the authors suggest that their data set should not be biased towards any particular variant, they do point out that these samples “do not represent different parts of the United States in proportion to the population”. For example, approximately 25% of the samples were collected from Florida. However, when they conduct a breakthrough analysis, they can still see a national trend.

Overall, the data clearly shows that Delta and Gamma are taking over. Especially Delta Air Lines has the fastest spread. It is surpassing Gamma and will become the main variant of the United States, just like what happened in the United Kingdom.

Nonetheless, both variants have advantages. When the researchers looked at how these two variants spread in various counties, they found:

The growth curve is [Delta], It is more transmissible, but the vaccine is very effective against it, showing faster growth in counties with lower vaccination rates. In contrast, [Gamma], Its spread is low, but the vaccine is less effective for it, and its prevalence is higher in counties with higher vaccination rates.

These data support experts in calling for people to be vaccinated and asking those who are vaccinated to be vigilant. At a White House press conference on Tuesday, top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci responded to this concern, calling Delta the “biggest threat” to the country’s escape from the pandemic.

Fauci pointed out that in 34 states, less than 70% of the adult population is vaccinated. Fauci said there is a “real danger” that the Delta variant may cause a local surge in Covid-19 cases and a decline in places where vaccination rates are low.

“Conclusion: We have the tools,” he said, referring to effective vaccines, “so let us use them to contain the epidemic.”

This story originally appeared in Ars Technica.


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