What the mutant coronavirus strain means for our ability to fight the pandemic

UK strain of coronavirus highlights need to invest in genomic sequencing. Dr Nahid Bhadelia, infectious disease physician and director of special pathogens at Boston Medical Center, joins Worldwide Exchange with his take on how to approach this new strain. To access CNBC’s exclusive live video subscribe to CNBC PRO: The new strain of coronavirus that was first detected in the UK may already be circulating in the US without notice, the Centers said on Tuesday for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States. Although the variant has not yet been found in the United States, the CDC noted that scientists have not sequenced the genetic coding for many Covid-19 infections here. The agency said that “the viruses have only been sequenced in about 51,000 of the 17 million cases in the United States,” so the new strain may have escaped attention. “Ongoing travel between the UK and the US, as well as the high prevalence of this variant among current infections in the UK, increases the likelihood of importation,” the CDC said in a statement. “Given the small fraction of infections in the United States that have been sequenced, the variant could already be in the United States without being detected.” The new variant is currently called “SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01,” the CDC said. It became widespread in the south-east of England in November and is believed to account for 60% of recent infections in London, the agency said. The CDC said it did not know why the new strain of the virus emerged, but that it could have been “by chance only.” “Alternatively, it can emerge because it’s better suited to spread in humans,” the CDC said. “This rapid from a rare strain to a common strain has worried British scientists, who are urgently evaluating the characteristics of the variant strain and the disease it causes.” The new coronavirus “mutates regularly,” the CDC noted, but the overwhelming majority of mutations are insignificant. The significance of the new variant first found in the UK has yet to be determined, but the CDC noted that based on early UK data, the new strain could “potentially be more rapidly transmissible than other strains in circulation ”. The CDC noted that there had been several mutations in the coronavirus, saying scientists were studying how this affected its ability to spread or whether it made it more deadly or resulted in milder infections. Scientists are also investigating whether the changes make the tests less effective, the CDC said, adding that the Covid-19 tests are designed to detect the virus in several , “so that even if a mutation affects one of the targets, other PCR targets will still work. The mutations, however, could potentially decrease the effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies in treating the virus, the CDC said. Monoclonal antibody treatments, such as those by President Donald Trump, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have been hailed as one of the few vital tools in the against the virus. “Of these possibilities, the last – the ability to evade induced by the vaccine – would probably be of most concern because once a large part of the population is vaccinated there will be an immune pressure that could promote and accelerate the emergence of these variants by selecting for “escape mutants” “The CDC said.” There is no evidence that this is happening, and most believe escape mutants are unlikely to emerge due to the nature of the virus. ” vaccine co Among President Donald Trump’s coronavirus, Dr Moncef Slaoui, said on Monday he expected Pfizer and Moderna’s Covid-19 injections to be effective against the new strain. »Subscribe to CNBC TV:» Subscribe to CNBC: »Subscribe to CNBC Classic: Turn to CNBC TV for the latest stock news and analysis. From market futures to live price updates, CNBC is the leader in business news. The News with Shepard Smith is CNBC’s daily podcast that provides in-depth, non-partisan coverage and perspective on the day’s most important stories. Available at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT daily starting September 30: Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: Follow CNBC News on Facebook: Follow CNBC News on Twitter: Follow CNBC News on Instagram: #CNBC #CNBCTV.
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