CDC Releases New Advice About the Dangerous COVID Mutation
Late last year it was revealed that two new variants of COVID-19 had been identified in South Africa and England, both much more transmissible than the original. As of Thursday, multiple cases of the new mutation have been identified in the United States. Now, the CDC is offering guidance and information about the variants as well as what is being done on their part to control the spread. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
This Isn't the First COVID Mutation
The CDC first explains that mutations are completely normal and to be expected. "Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and persist. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic," they write.
While multiple COVID-19 variants are circulating globally, in the United Kingdom (UK), "a new variant has emerged with an unusually large number of mutations," they reveal. First detected in September, "it is now highly prevalent in London and southeast England. It has since been detected in numerous countries around the world, including the United States and Canada."
There is also another variant that has "emerged independently of the variant detected in the UK" in South Africa, which shares some mutations with the variant detected in the UK. There have been cases caused by this variant outside of South Africa.
They also note that another variant recently emerged in Nigeria. "CDC also is monitoring this strain but, at this time, there is no evidence to indicate this variant is causing more severe illness or increased spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria," they say.
We Do Know the New Variants Are More Transmissible
Compared to the original COVID-19, the new ones are more transmissible. "This variant seems to spread more easily and quickly than other variants," the CDC warns.
However, they point out that as of now, "there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death."
What We Don't Know
While scientists have some grasp on the new variants, they are still working to learn more and to understand how widely these new variants have spread, how the new variants differ, and how the disease caused by these new variants differs from the disease caused by other variants that are currently circulating. By studying them, they hope to understand whether the variants spread more easily from person to person, cause milder or more severe disease in people, are detected by currently available viral tests, respond to medicines currently being used to treat people for COVID-19, change the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines ("There is no evidence that this is occurring, and most experts believe this is unlikely to occur because of the nature of the immune response to the virus," they add.)
What CDC Is Doing
According to the CDC, they, in collaboration with other public health agencies, are monitoring the situation closely. "CDC is working to detect and characterize emerging viral variants and expand its ability to look for COVID-19 and new variants," they write. "Furthermore, CDC has staff available on-the-ground support to investigate the characteristics of viral variants. As new information becomes available, CDC will provide updates."
How to Survive This Pandemic
As for yourself, protect yourself from all variants of the virus by following Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.