Covid-19: the new descendant of Delta rises in the United Kingdom. Here is what you need to know

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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. ”

AY.4.2 caught the attention of public health experts across the pond. In a series of Sunday tweetsformer US Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb called for “urgent research” on this Delta offshoot and said it was a “reminder that we we need robust systems to identify and characterize new variants ”.

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?

A: We have to start with the science and what the research shows, according to CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen. Covid-19 vaccines are extraordinarily effective in preventing disease and especially serious illness, she said.

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. ”

Send your questions here. Are you a healthcare worker battling Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp regarding the challenges you are facing: +1 347-322-0415.

READINGS OF THE WEEK

Why Colin Powell’s cancer likely reduced his protection against the Covid-19 vaccine

Colin Powell, America’s first black secretary of state, died of complications from Covid-19 on Monday. Experts say his death shows how important it is for more people to get vaccinated and stop the spread of the virus, Jen Christensen reports.

Powell was fully vaccinated, but a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN that he suffered from multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that is said to have affected his immune response to the vaccine and made it difficult to fight the virus. Peggy Cifrino, chief of staff for Powell, said that Powell, 84, also suffers from Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease.

Although Covid-19 vaccines offer strong protection against serious illness and death in healthy people, patients with multiple myeloma are among the immunocompromised groups who may not respond as well, studies have shown. A study published in Nature in July showed that only 45% of patients with multiple myeloma developed an adequate response to the vaccine, while 22% had a partial response. A third did not get a response.

Although Powell represents a high-risk population group, some conservative media figures have dishonestly seized his death to question the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines, writes Oliver Darcy.

These doctors spread false information about vaccines

Dr Christiane Northrup was a frequent guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, an Ivy League-trained obstetrician-gynecologist who often spoke about women’s health and holistic medicine. She was a media darling, and in 2013, she was on Reader’s Digest’s annual list of America’s 100 Most Trusted People.

But Northrup is also one of a small group of doctors who have become a huge source of misinformation – whether as social media influencers or family doctors meeting with patients in person – about Covid-19 vaccines, who have so far proven to be the most effective. effective weapon against the deadliest pandemic in 100 years, report Rob Kuznia, Scott Bronstein, Curt Devine and Drew Griffin.

Moscow orders unvaccinated over 60s to stay home for 4 months

Millions of Russians face tough new Covid-19 restrictions starting this week, after a slow vaccination campaign, an overwhelmed health system and widespread mistrust of the government combined to plunge the country into its deadliest phase of the pandemic to date, Anna Chernova and Rob Picheta Report.

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.

“I think the country is now sinking into disaster,” Vasily Vlassov, Russian epidemiologist and former adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO), told CNN.

SUPERIOR COUNCIL

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.

In an email to CNN, the CDC said it considered the test to remain a “promising practice” and that it “was working with several jurisdictions implementing a test to stay to assess the effectiveness of this strategy. “. But it’s unclear when this advice might be available. Read more about it here.



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