Experts say that fighting the mutation of the corona requires a global response.
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, MINNESOTA – The new corona variant spreading around the world is causing concern that the pandemic has the potential to last longer. United States health experts say, fighting it requires a global response.
One of the variants is mutation of the corona virus E484K, nicknamed ‘Eek’. Her case was found in hospitalized patients in Japan and the virus was found to be resistant to the vaccine. Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm said he was concerned about the findings.
“I am concerned about all the variants. Before November, we really didn’t understand that this virus would mutate like that, and in the mutation it could do one of three things,” Osterholm said. Eat This, Monday (5/4).
First, mutations make the virus much more contagious. Second, it can cause more cases of severe disease. Third, in some cases, the mutation can actually circumvent the vaccine’s immune protection.
The director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy admits he is worried about what will happen in the next few years. Especially, considering that the distribution of vaccines is not evenly distributed throughout the world.
“10 countries have received about 80 percent of the vaccine. 30 countries have not even received a single drop. If this virus spreads to low and middle income countries, it is possible that new variants will emerge over the coming years,” he said.
That is why it is not only a responsive US government effort that is needed, but a global effort to get as many of the world‘s population as possible vaccinated. That way, the capabilities of the vaccines currently in circulation are not at stake.
According to Osterholm, the US is currently at the start of a fourth wave of the virus with Category 5 hurricane status. Michigan recently reported 8,400 new cases and the expert said that should be a warning to everyone in the US.
There is also an increasing number of cases of severe disease and ICU admissions in individuals between the ages of 30 and 50 who have never been treated. He advised everyone to receive the vaccine immediately and stay alert during the pandemic.
The general guideline is to take precautionary measures by wearing face masks, washing hands regularly, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. Avoid crowds and get tested if you think you have the coronavirus.