Scott Gottlieb believes the new variant of the coronavirus found in the United Kingdom is "already in the U. The mutation is thought to be up to 70 percent more transmissible, and because of it, more than 40 countries have banned travel to and from the U.
The former Food and Drug Administration commissioner told CNBC's Shepard Smith on Monday that at this point, he does not believe a travel ban "is going to prevent this mutated strain from coming into the United States. We're going to have an epidemic that continues to build over the course of the next three or four weeks, we'll reach a peak, and then we'll start onlkne see infection rates decline as we see vaccinations get rolled out.
The more infections you have, the more chances that these variants start to propagate.
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If this new version of the chqt is here to stay, as it appears to be, what does that mean? Will this new version of the virus replace the old one? Will it be easier to catch?
And, most important, will the current vaccines still be effective? This interests me because I am an evolutionary microbiologist who studies the link between the transmission and evolution of infectious diseases.
In particular, I spend a lot of time considering the effects of vaccines on pathogen evolution and knline effects of pathogen evolution on the impact of vaccines. Eight of these 23 mutations affect the spike protein.
This matters because the spike protein enables the virus to enter human cells, and it is a key target of our immune response, both in fighting off the virus during infection and in protecting us from disease following vaccination with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. If the changes to the spike protein help the virus enter human cells more easily, then the virus could be transmitted from person to person more readily.
Samples of the new virus isolated from patients suggest that this variant has been increasing in relative frequency over the past three months.
The increase in frequency is concerning, as it suggests — but does not prove — that the B. While these estimates are consistent with the data, it is entirely too early to make a definitive conclusion. If this increase in transmissibility is confirmed, it might be due to of the mutations in the spike protein allows it to bind more tightly to the ACE2 receptor, which provides a repuglic for the virus to enter human cells.
But it might also be due to any of the other changes to the virus. Is it more dangerous? If so, why?
If the new version, B. However, I am africa aware of good evidence that there is any difference in severity of disease caused by the new version of this virus compared with the older one. That said, with so few known cases, it may still be too early to say. Will the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines still be effective against this new strain? Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work by training our immune systems to recognize a specific version of the viral spike protein.
The version of the spike protein used by the vaccines was deed to match that of the old virus, not that of the B. This means that the vaccines might become less effective than expected should this new virus spread widely.
Vaccine-virus mismatch is an ongoing challenge for scientists charged with developing the seasonal flu vaccine. But even with a virus-vaccine mismatch, the flu vaccine reduces the likelihood, and the severity, of disease. The question is therefore not whether the vaccines will be effective, but rather how effective they will be.
The severity of the mismatch matters, but the only way to determine its impact in this case is through scientific study, and to my knowledge, no data on that has yet been collected. Should people still get the new mRNA vaccine?
The appearance of this new B. If this new version is more transmissible, or if the vaccine is less effective because of a virus-vaccine mismatch, more people will need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and get this disease under control.
Moreover, we now have proof that the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 can change drastically in a short time, and so it is critical that we get the virus under control to prevent it from evolving further and completely undermining vaccination efforts. This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.
It was written by: David Kennedy, Penn State. The Chinese government claims sovereignty over most of the South China Sea, directly disputing the territorial claims of reefs, islands and waters by its smaller regional neighbours.