Little is known about AY.4.2. Some experts have suggested that it might be slightly more transmissible than the original Delta variant, although this has yet to be confirmed. Although it is responsible for a growing number of infections, it is not yet classified in the UK as a ‘variant of concern’. It currently remains rare beyond Britain, with a small number of cases recorded in Denmark and the United States, expert François Balloux told the Science Media Center (SMC) on Tuesday.
“Since AY.4.2 is still at a fairly low frequency, a 10% increase in its transmissibility could only have caused a small number of additional cases. As such, it has not resulted in the recent surge in UK cases, “said Balloux Professor of Computer Systems Biology and Director of the Institute of Genetics at UCL, SMC said. .
While new variants have repeatedly overtaken each other to become the dominant strain globally over the past year, experts say it is too early to know whether AY.4.2 will become significant. In the UK, “Delta very quickly in a matter of weeks” had passed the Alpha variant by the summer, Deepti Gurdasani, senior lecturer in epidemiology at Queen Mary University in London, told CNN. “That’s not what we’re seeing here, we’re seeing some kind of slow increase in proportion that suggests it’s not hugely more transmissible, it could be slightly more transmissible.
Balloux agreed, telling SMC that “this [is] not a situation comparable to the emergence of Alpha and Delta which were much more transmissible (50% or more) than any strain in circulation at the time. Here we are dealing with a small potential increase in transmissibility that would not have a comparable impact on the pandemic. ”
The emergence of AY.4.2 in Britain, however, indicates what scientists have warned throughout the pandemic: The skyrocketing transmission may create new variants. The UK has recorded the highest rate of daily Covid-19 cases and deaths per million people in Western Europe since most pandemic restrictions were dropped this summer. On Tuesday, it reported 223 Covid-19 deaths, the highest daily figure since early March, and health officials are urging the government to reintroduce measures such as confined space mask warrants to help alleviate the pressure on the health system.
The ‘whole problem with this approach to living with the virus and allowing between 30,000 and 50,000 cases per day – which has been the UK case rate since [the summer] — is the [virus’s] the evolution will continue… we have to remove the cases and remove the virus, ”said Gurdasani.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Q: When vaccinated people die from Covid-19, how do you explain that vaccines are still worth taking?
The most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows they reduce the likelihood of testing positive for Covid-19 by six times and the likelihood of death by 11 times, has it -she adds.
“This means that if you are vaccinated you are six times less likely to contract Covid-19 than an unvaccinated person. And you are 11 times less likely to die from Covid-19 than an unvaccinated person. It’s really great, ”she said. noted.
“However, Covid-19 vaccines do not protect you 100%. No vaccine does, but probably virtually no medical treatment is 100% effective. This does not mean that the vaccine does not work, or that you shouldn’t take it. ”
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On Tuesday, Moscow’s mayor ordered all unvaccinated residents over the age of 60, as well as unvaccinated “chronically ill” people, to stay at home for four months until the end of February as the city is grappling with a growing crisis.
The national government has also offered to introduce a week off in early November, but senior officials have started to openly admit the situation is dire as Russians head for a gloomy winter.
Russia has recorded its highest number of daily cases and deaths on several occasions in recent days, and recorded 1,002 official deaths on Sunday – the first time the country has broken the four-figure death barrier so far.
Experts say a lagging vaccination program and failed government messages are factors behind the outbreak, which now threatens to flood hospitals across the country.
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The test-to-stay approach in American schools
The CDC is working with some school districts across the country to assess the practice of the test-to-stay approach.
This type of policy would prioritize testing to monitor students who may have been exposed to Covid-19, allowing students to continue attending classes if they are negative, instead of having to self-quarantine. But many health experts agree that quarantines are still necessary.
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