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More contagious COVID-19 strain reached to 33 countries of the world

The more contagious strain of the COVID-19 virus, first identified in the United Kingdom is continuously spreading up across the U.S. and around the globe.

pic source the guardian

The new variant of Coronavirus is also known as B.1.1.7. The virus is spreading very fast, it has reached to At least three U.S. states and 33 countries of the world. 

Few countries have also identified an additional variant, first identified in South Africa, that also appears to infect people more easily.

"Because the variants spread more rapidly, they could lead to more cases and put even more strain on our heavily burdened health care systems," said Dr. Henry Walke, incident manager for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 response.

Must read: Side effects of Covid-19 vaccines can't be ruled out

"We need to be even more vigilant in our prevention measures to slow the spread of COVID-19."

How dangerous is the new Covid-19 strain?

The new coronavirus strain was first identified in the U.K. is more contagious and spreads more easily and quickly than other strains,  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The new strain was first spotted in southeastern England in September and accounted for a quarter of cases in London by November. Till Dec. 9, it was responsible for 60% of cases in the city.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus mutates very frequently and acquires about one new mutation in its genome every two weeks, according to the CDC. The U.K. variant has several mutations that affect the "spike protein" on the virus surface that attaches to human cells.

Also Read: A more deadly new strain of coronavirus spread in the UK

"It’s able to bind to the receptors on cells better, and therefore is transmitted better," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said last week.

How lethal is the new Covid-19 variant?

There is no evidence that B.1.1.7 causes more severe illness or increased risk of death, according to the CDC. Yet it is very dangerous and spreads very fast. One should not breach the covid protocol.

The effectiveness of vaccine on new Covid-19 variant

Researchers believe current COVID-19 vaccines will likely protect against B.1.1.7, but data is needed. The virus would "likely need to accumulate multiple mutations in the spike protein to evade immunity induced by vaccines or by natural infection," according to the CDC.

"From what we know from experience with this mutation and other mutations, it's unlikely to have a large impact on vaccine-induced immunity, or existing immunity from previous strains," said Dr. Greg Armstrong, director of the CDC's Office of Advanced Molecular Detection. Armstrong said it is unclear how the variant may respond to COVID-19 treatments, such as monoclonal antibody treatments.

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