8 Ways to Protect Yourself Against the Mutated COVID-19 Variants
2020 brought the novel coronavirus and a global pandemic. With the COVID-19 vaccines developed and massive vaccination programs taking place all over the world, it seemed 2021 would be better. Unfortunately, we are now dealing with new variants of the virus, which experts say are far more contagious.
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So far, there are four new COVID-19 variants that researchers identified and started studying, but there are concerns that one of them will further mutate and cause more severe disease, go undetected by tests or evade the vaccine protection.
“People need to be concerned about the new strains for many reasons”, warns Dr. Scott Braunstein, medical director of Sollis Health in Los Angeles. Their transmission rate is at least 50 percent higher than that of the original virus, something that could cause massive surges in COVID-19 cases and higher number of deaths, caused by lack of resources, such as ICU beds, ventilators, and medical personnel.
According to the CDC, the following variants have been already identified on US territory, as follows:
- 1.1.7 variant emerged in the United Kingdom and has quickly spread to other countries, made, including to the United States and Canada. It is more contagious than other variants, but more research is needed to determine whether it causes more severe symptoms or an increased risk of death. See also These 2 States Have the Worst Outbreaks of the New U.K Strain.
- 1.351 variant was first reported in South Africa. On American territory, it was first identified on Thursday, January 28th, in South Carolina.
- 1 variant which caused a viral spread in Brazil was reported for the first time in Minnesota, at the end of January. The mutations of this variant could affect its ability to be identified by antibodies.
- L452R variant has been first identified in California in July 2020, appearing in 36 percent of samples. Since then, the homegrown variant has also appeared in many other states, with some researchers blaming it for the record number of COVID-19 cases.
For more details about the new COVID-19 variants, check out these 7 Key Questions Answered By Experts.