It’s too early to say what to expect from a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) that’s already being dubbed “of concern,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but updated vaccines are now coming in earlier than expected as the rise continues. cases.
Federal agency risk assessment For the BA.2.86 variant he has named Pyrola, he warned that it “may be more infectious in people who have previously had COVID-19 or who have received COVID-19 vaccines.”
The initial assessment is that there is no evidence that the new variant is making people sicker, but that hospitalization rates for the virus are being watched closely “to identify any potential early signs that the BA.2.86 variant is causing more serious disease.”
The increase in hospitalizations nationwide for COVID-19 – more than 21% weekly As of mid-August – “not likely” to be driven by the new variant, the CDC said, adding that the assessment may change as more data becomes available.
As of Wednesday, the day the risk assessment was published, nine BA.2.86 cases had been identified – three in Denmark, two in South Africa, one in Israel, one in the United Kingdom and “at least” two in the United States.
The CDC said one of the US cases was of someone who had been diagnosed with it Federal program that tests nasal swab samples voluntarily submitted by international travelers arriving at participating airports.
The agency did not provide further details, but the British tabloid newspaper, The Mirror, reported that the case was an asymptomatic woman Back to Virginia from Japan which was tested on August 10th.
The other American case was discovered by the University of Michigan. A Bridge Michigan news source reported that the state health department said that injured person from the Ann Arbor area and is an adult with mild symptoms who has not been hospitalized.
The CDC also said there was initial indication that the BA.2.86 variant was present in a US wastewater sample “collected as part of routine surveillance in the United States.” The National Wastewater Monitoring SystemBut did not specify where.
So far, the new variant has not been detected in Utah, which is sequencing weekly samples collected from wastewater treatment plants across Utah as well as from positive tests for the virus.
“It’s only a matter of time,” Kelly Okison, chief scientist for next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics at the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, told Deseret News earlier this week after Monday’s test.
Oakesson called the 30-plus Perula mutation “alarming” because it is comparable to the abrupt changes seen in the Omicron variant that drove cases to record levels in Utah in early 2022.
The CDC said there were still questions about the transmissibility of BA.2.86, which, like other variants currently in circulation, is descended from Omicron but noted that it had already jumped across multiple continents.
“At the moment, we don’t know how widespread this variant is, but we do know that it spreads in the same way as other variants,” the risk assessment said. Vaccination against coronavirus (COVID-19) is at the top of the list of recommended precautions.
The CDC said the latest update of the virus vaccine, which is set to target an earlier Omicron variant, XBB.1.5, also known as Kraken, will be available as early as mid-September in doctors’ offices and pharmacies, if it receives a federal license. .
Previous estimates indicated that it could take until October to roll out what the government said would be an annual COVID-19 vaccination to most Americans around the same time they get their annual flu shot.
The faster timeline comes as the spread of the coronavirus increases nationwide.
Other precautions recommended by the CDC to protect against the new variant are:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Take a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test if needed.
- Seek treatment if you have COVID-19 and are at risk of severe illness.
- If you choose to wear a mask, wear a high-quality mask that fits over your nose and mouth.
- Improve ventilation.
- cleaning hands.